A Tale of Two Cities

Charles Dickens

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A Tale of Two Cities

Book the First—Recalled to Life

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I The Period
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a plain face, on the throne of England; there were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a fair face, on the throne of France. In both countries it was clearer than crystal to the lords of the State preserves of loaves and fishes, that things in general were settled for ever. It was the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five. Spiritual revelations were conceded to England at that favoured period, as at this.

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Mrs. Southcott had recently attained her five-andtwentieth blessed birthday, of whom a prophetic private in the Life Guards had heralded the sublime appearance by announcing that arrangements were made for the swallowing up of London and Westminster. Even the Cock-lane ghost had been laid only a round dozen of years, after rapping out its messages, as the spirits of this very year last past (supernaturally deficient in originality) rapped out theirs. Mere messages in the earthly order of events had lately come to the English Crown and People, from a congress of British subjects in America: which, strange to relate, have proved more important to the human race than any communications yet received through any of the chickens of the Cock-lane brood. France, less favoured on the whole as to matters spiritual than her sister of the shield and trident, rolled with exceeding smoothness down hill, making paper money and spending it. Under the guidance of her Christian pastors, she entertained herself, besides, with such humane achievements as sentencing a youth to have his hands cut off, his tongue torn out with pincers, and his body burned alive, because he had not kneeled down in the rain to do honour to a dirty procession of monks which passed within his view, at a distance of some fifty or 4 of 670

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sixty yards. It is likely enough that, rooted in the woods of France and Norway, there were growing trees, when that sufferer was put to death, already marked by the Woodman, Fate, to come down and be sawn into boards, to make a certain movable framework with a sack and a knife in it, terrible in history. It is likely enough that in the rough outhouses of some tillers of the heavy lands adjacent to Paris, there were sheltered from the weather that very day, rude carts, bespattered with rustic mire, snuffed about by pigs, and roosted in by poultry, which the Farmer, Death, had already set apart to be his tumbrils of the Revolution. But that Woodman and that Farmer, though they work unceasingly, work silently, and no one heard them as they went about with muffled tread: the rather, forasmuch as to entertain any suspicion that they were awake, was to be atheistical and traitorous. In England, there was scarcely an amount of order and protection to justify much national boasting. Daring burglaries by armed men, and highway robberies, took place in the capital itself every night; families were publicly cautioned not to go out of town without removing their furniture to upholsterers’ warehouses for security; the highwayman in the dark was a City tradesman in the light, and, being recognised and challenged by his fellow5 of 670

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tradesman whom he stopped in his character of ‘the Captain,’ gallantly shot him through the head and rode away; the mall was waylaid by seven robbers, and the guard shot three dead, and then got shot dead himself by the other four, ‘in consequence of the failure of his ammunition:’ after which the mall was robbed in peace; that magnificent potentate, the Lord Mayor of London, was made to stand and deliver on Turnham Green, by one highwayman, who despoiled the illustrious creature in sight of all his retinue; prisoners in London gaols fought battles with their turnkeys, and the majesty of the law fired blunderbusses in among them, loaded with rounds of shot and ball; thieves snipped off diamond crosses from the necks of noble lords at Court drawing-rooms; musketeers went into St. Giles’s, to search for contraband goods, and the mob fired on the musketeers, and the musketeers fired on the mob, and nobody thought any of these occurrences much out of the common way. In the midst of them, the hangman, ever busy and ever worse than useless, was in constant requisition; now, stringing up long rows of miscellaneous criminals; now, hanging a housebreaker on Saturday who had been taken on Tuesday; now, burning people in the hand at Newgate by the dozen, and now burning pamphlets at the door of Westminster Hall; to6 of 670

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day, taking the life of an atrocious murderer, and tomorrow of a wretched pilferer who had robbed a farmer’s boy of sixpence. All these things, and a thousand like them, came to pass in and close upon the dear old year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five. Environed by them, while the Woodman and the Farmer worked unheeded, those two of the large jaws, and those other two of the plain and the fair faces, trod with stir enough, and carried their divine rights with a high hand. Thus did the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five conduct their Greatnesses, and myriads of small creatures—the creatures of this chronicle among the rest—along the roads that lay before them.

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II The Mail
It was the Dover road that lay, on a Friday night late in November, before the first of the persons with whom this history has business. The Dover road lay, as to him, beyond the Dover mail, as it lumbered up Shooter’s Hill. He walked up hill in the mire by the side of the mail, as the rest of the passengers did; not because they had the least relish for walking exercise, under the circumstances, but because the hill, and the harness, and the mud, and the mail, were all so heavy, that the horses had three times already come to a stop, besides once drawing the coach across the road, with the mutinous intent of taking it back to Blackheath. Reins and whip and coachman and guard, however, in combination, had read that article of war which forbade a purpose otherwise strongly in favour of the argument, that some brute animals are endued with Reason; and the team had capitulated and returned to their duty. With drooping heads and tremulous tails, they mashed their way through the thick mud, floundering and stumbling between whiles, as if they were falling to pieces 8 of 670

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at the larger joints. As often as the driver rested them and brought them to a stand, with a wary ‘Wo-ho! so-hothen!’ the near leader violently shook his head and everything upon it—like an unusually emphatic horse, denying that the coach could be got up the hill. Whenever the leader made this rattle, the passenger started, as a nervous passenger might, and was disturbed in mind. There was a steaming mist in all the hollows, and it had roamed in its forlornness up the hill, like an evil spirit, seeking rest and finding none. A clammy and intensely cold mist, it made its slow way through the air in ripples that visibly followed and overspread one another, as the waves of an unwholesome sea might do. It was dense enough to shut out everything from the light of the coach-lamps but these its own workings, and a few yards of road; and the reek of the labouring horses steamed into it, as if they had made it all. Two other passengers, besides the one, were plodding up the hill by the side of the mail. All three were wrapped to the cheekbones and over the ears, and wore jack-boots. Not one of the three could have said, from anything he saw, what either of the other two was like; and each was hidden under almost as many wrappers from the eyes of the mind, as from the eyes of the body, of his two 9 of 670

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companions. In those days, travellers were very shy of being confidential on a short notice, for anybody on the road might be a robber or in league with robbers. As to the latter, when every posting-house and ale-house could produce somebody in ‘the Captain’s’ pay, ranging from the landlord to the lowest stable non-descript, it was the likeliest thing upon the cards. So the guard of the Dover mail thought to himself, that Friday night in November, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, lumbering up Shooter’s Hill, as he stood on his own particular perch behind the mail, beating his feet, and keeping an eye and a hand on the arm-chest before him, where a loaded blunderbuss lay at the top of six or eight loaded horsepistols, deposited on a substratum of cutlass. The Dover mail was in its usual genial position that the guard suspected the passengers, the passengers suspected one another and the guard, they all suspected everybody else, and the coachman was sure of nothing but the horses; as to which cattle he could with a clear conscience have taken his oath on the two Testaments that they were not fit for the journey. ‘Wo-ho!’ said the coachman. ‘So, then! One more pull and you’re at the top and be damned to you, for I have had trouble enough to get you to it!—Joe!’ 10 of 670

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‘Halloa!’ the guard replied. ‘What o’clock do you make it, Joe?’ ‘Ten minutes, good, past eleven.’ ‘My blood!’ ejaculated the vexed coachman, ‘and not atop of Shooter’s yet! Tst! Yah! Get on with you! ‘ The emphatic horse, cut short by the whip in a most decided negative, made a decided scramble for it, and the three other horses followed suit. Once more, the Dover mail struggled on, with the jack-boots of its passengers squashing along by its side. They had stopped when the coach stopped, and they kept close company with it. If any one of the three had had the hardihood to propose to another to walk on a little ahead into the mist and darkness, he would have put himself in a fair way of getting shot instantly as a highwayman. The last burst carried the mail to the summit of the hill. The horses stopped to breathe again, and the guard got down to skid the wheel for the descent, and open the coach-door to let the passengers in. ‘Tst! Joe!’ cried the coachman in a warning voice, looking down from his box. ‘What do you say, Tom?’ They both listened. ‘I say a horse at a canter coming up, Joe.’ 11 of 670

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‘I say a horse at a gallop, Tom,’ returned the guard, leaving his hold of the door, and mounting nimbly to his place. ‘Gentlemen! In the kings name, all of you!’ With this hurried adjuration, he cocked his blunderbuss, and stood on the offensive. The passenger booked by this history, was on the coach-step, getting in; the two other passengers were close behind him, and about to follow. He remained on the step, half in the coach and half out of; they re-mained in the road below him. They all looked from the coachman to the guard, and from the guard to the coachman, and listened. The coachman looked back and the guard looked back, and even the emphatic leader pricked up his ears and looked back, without contradicting. The stillness consequent on the cessation of the rumbling and labouring of the coach, added to the stillness of the night, made it very quiet indeed. The panting of the horses communicated a tremulous motion to the coach, as if it were in a state of agitation. The hearts of the passengers beat loud enough perhaps to be heard; but at any rate, the quiet pause was audibly expressive of people out of breath, and holding the breath, and having the pulses quickened by expectation.

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The sound of a horse at a gallop came fast and furiously up the hill. ‘So-ho!’ the guard sang out, as loud as he could roar. ‘Yo there! Stand! I shall fire!’ The pace was suddenly checked, and, with much splashing and floundering, a man’s voice called from the mist, ‘Is that the Dover mail?’ ‘Never you mind what it is!’ the guard retorted. ‘What are you?’ ‘IS that the Dover mail?’ ‘Why do you want to know?’ ‘I want a passenger, if it is.’ ‘What passenger?’ ‘Mr. Jarvis Lorry.’ Our booked passenger showed in a moment that it was his name. The guard, the coachman, and the two other passengers eyed him distrustfully. ‘Keep where you are,’ the guard called to the voice in the mist, ‘because, if I should make a mistake, it could never be set right in your lifetime. Gentleman of the name of Lorry answer straight.’ ‘What is the matter?’ asked the passenger, then, with mildly quavering speech. ‘Who wants me? Is it Jerry?’

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and. For I’m a devil at a quick mistake. and pulled up the window.’ ‘I know this messenger.’ growled the guard to himself. T. and when I make one it takes the form of Lead. and Co. there’s nothing wrong. shut the door. getting down into the road—assisted from behind more swiftly than politely by the other two passengers.’ said the guard.’ ‘What is the matter?’ ‘A despatch sent after you from over yonder. casting up his 14 of 670 . who immediately scrambled into the coach.’ ‘I hope there ain’t. if it is Jerry. in gruff soliloquy. ‘He may come close. ‘Hallo you!’ ‘Well! And hallo you!’ said Jerry. ‘He’s hoarser than suits me. and came to the side of the mail. Mr. where the passenger stood. is Jerry. So now let’s look at you. but I can’t make so ‘Nation sure of that. Lorry. guard. don’t let me see your hand go nigh ‘em.’ The figures of a horse and rider came slowly through the eddying mist.A Tale of Two Cities ("I don’t like Jerry’s voice. ‘Come on at a footpace! d’ye mind me? And if you’ve got holsters to that saddle o’ yourn.’ said Mr. The rider stooped.’) ‘Yes. more hoarsely than before. Lorry.

‘Take that message back.’ 15 of 670 . You must know Tellson’s Bank in London. and both horse and rider were covered with mud. A crown to drink. with his right hand at the stock of his raised blunderbuss. guard. and read—first to himself and then aloud: ‘‘Wait at Dover for Mam’selle. at his hoarsest. Make the best of your way.’ said he.’ It’s not long. Good night. too. I am going to Paris on business.’ He opened it in the light of the coach-lamp on that side. his left at the barrel. ‘That’s a Blazing strange answer. ‘Guard!’ said the passenger.’ Jerry started in his saddle. you see. as well as if I wrote. from the hoofs of the horse to the hat of the man. and his eye on the horseman. I may read this?’ ‘If so be as you’re quick. Jerry. I belong to Tellson’s Bank. The rider’s horse was blown. sir. answered curtly. say that my answer was. ‘Sir. RECALLED TO LIFE. The watchful guard. handed the passenger a small folded paper. and they will know that I received this.’ ‘There is nothing to apprehend. in a tone of quiet business confidence.A Tale of Two Cities eyes at the guard.

With no more definite purpose than to escape the hazard of originating any other kind of action. a couple of torches. and get a light with tolerable safety and ease (if he were lucky) in five minutes.’ ‘Did you hear the message?’ ‘I did. and having looked to the supplementary pistols that he wore in his belt. having looked to the rest of its contents. For he was furnished with that completeness that if the coach-lamps had been blown and stormed out. and. which did occasionally happen. and were now making a general pretence of being asleep. looked to a smaller chest beneath his seat. he had only to shut himself up inside. keep the flint and steel sparks well off the straw. in which there were a few smith’s tools. ‘Tom!’ softly over the coach roof. Tom?’ 16 of 670 . and a tinder-box. The guard soon replaced his blunderbuss in his arm-chest. Joe. The coach lumbered on again. ‘Hallo. not at all assisted by his fellow-passengers. with heavier wreaths of mist closing round it as it began the descent. who had expeditiously secreted their watches and purses in their boots. Joe.A Tale of Two Cities With those words the passenger opened the coach-door and got in.’ ‘What did you make of it.

Joe. After standing with the bridle over his heavilysplashed arm. he turned to walk down the hill.’ That’s a Blazing strange message. old lady. if recalling to life was to come into fashion. glancing at his mare. left alone in the mist and darkness. and shake the wet out of his hatbrim.’ said this hoarse messenger. which might be capable of holding about half a gallon.’ Jerry. ‘‘Recalled to life. Jerry! I say.’ ‘That’s a coincidence. not only to ease his spent horse.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Nothing at all. but to wipe the mud from his face. ‘After that there gallop from Temple Bar. Jerry!’ 17 of 670 . dismounted meanwhile. until the wheels of the mail were no longer within hearing and the night was quite still again. Much of that wouldn’t do for you. Jerry! You’d be in a Blazing bad way. too. ‘for I made the same of it myself.’ the guard mused. I won’t trust your fore-legs till I get you on the level.

A Tale of Two Cities III The Night Shadows A wonderful fact to reflect upon. and I stood in ignorance on the shore. No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that I loved. that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there. when I enter a great city by night. that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret. and vainly hope in time to read it all. that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret. in some of its imaginings. is referable to this. It was appointed that the water should be locked in an eternal frost. It was appointed that the book should shut with a spring. my neighbour is dead. I have had glimpses of buried treasure and other things submerged. is. the darling of my soul. when I had read but a page. as momentary lights glanced into it. when the light was playing on its surface. for ever and for ever. my love. even of Death itself. A solemn consideration. a secret to the heart nearest it! Something of the awfulness. is 18 of 670 . My friend is dead. that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. wherein. No more can I look into the depths of this unfathomable water.

The messenger rode back at an easy trot. under an old cocked-hat like a three19 of 670 . singly. the first Minister of State. to me. the messenger on horseback had exactly the same possessions as the King. in their innermost personality. or the richest merchant in London. but evincing a tendency to keep his own counsel. and which I shall carry in mine to my life’s end. stopping pretty often at ale-houses by the way to drink. and to keep his hat cocked over his eyes. So with the three passengers shut up in the narrow compass of one lumbering old mail coach. they were mysteries to one another. his natural and not to be alienated inheritance. and much too near together—as if they were afraid of being found out in something. with no depth in the colour or form. is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are. it is the inexorable consolidation and perpetuation of the secret that was always in that individuality. with the breadth of a county between him and the next. or than I am to them? As to this. He had eyes that assorted very well with that decoration. as complete as if each had been in his own coach and six. being of a surface black. They had a sinister expression. In any of the burialplaces of this city through which I pass. if they kept too far apart.A Tale of Two Cities dead. or his own coach and sixty.

‘No. When he stopped for drink. as the most dangerous man in the world to go over. blunt nose. Jerry. Except on the crown. to take off his hat to scratch his head. by Temple Bar. harping on one theme as he rode. only while he poured his liquor in with his right. black hair. which descended nearly to the wearer’s knees. the shadows of the night took such shapes to him as arose out of the message. Jerry. he moved this muffler with his left hand. it wouldn’t suit YOUR line of business! Recalled—! Bust me if I don’t think he’d been a drinking!’ His message perplexed his mind to that degree that he was fain. so much more like the top of a strongly spiked wall than a head of hair. you honest tradesman. he muffled again. he had stiff. several times. that the best of players at leap-frog might have declined him. which was raggedly bald. who was to deliver it to greater authorities within. It was so like Smith’s work. and growing down hill almost to his broad.A Tale of Two Cities cornered spittoon. and took 20 of 670 . as soon as that was done. Jerry. While he trotted back with the message he was to deliver to the night watchman in his box at the door of Tellson’s Bank. ‘It wouldn’t do for you. standing jaggedly all over it. and over a great muffler for the chin and throat. no!’ said the messenger.

the mail-coach lumbered. Tellson’s Bank had a run upon it in the mail. the little coach-windows. became the bank. and the coach-lamp dimly gleaming through them. As the bank passenger— with an arm drawn through the leathern strap. and driving him into his corner.A Tale of Two Cities such shapes to the mare as arose out of HER private topics of uneasiness. with its three fellowinscrutables inside. What time. in the forms their dozing eyes and wandering thoughts suggested. and he went in among them with the great 21 of 670 . with half-shut eyes. jolted. rattled. and more drafts were honoured in five minutes than even Tellson’s. with such of their valuable stores and secrets as were known to the passenger (and it was not a little that he knew about them). at Tellson’s. To whom. which did what lay in it to keep him from pounding against the next passenger. and bumped upon its tedious way. Then the strong-rooms underground. ever paid in thrice the time. The rattle of the harness was the chink of money. and the bulky bundle of opposite passenger. with all its foreign and home connection. the shadows of the night revealed themselves. opened before him. whenever the coach got a special jolt—nodded in his place. and did a great stroke of business. for she shied at every shadow on the road. likewise. They seemed to be numerous.

like the presence of pain under an opiate) was always with him. submission. there was another current of impression that never ceased to run. and they differed principally in the passions they expressed. the shadows of the night did not indicate. so did varieties of sunken cheek. and sound. but they were all the faces of a man of five-and. and still. He was on his way to dig some one out of a grave. succeeded one another. But the face was in the main one face. cadaverous colour.forty by years. all through the night. Now. stubbornness.’ 22 of 670 . and strong. Pride.A Tale of Two Cities keys and the feebly-burning candle. emaciated hands and figures. lamentation. But. and in the ghastliness of their worn and wasted state. and though the coach (in a confused way. contempt. defiance. though the bank was almost always with him. A hundred times the dozing passenger inquired of this spectre: ‘Buried how long?’ The answer was always the same: ‘Almost eighteen years. which of the multitude of faces that showed themselves before him was the true face of the buried person. just as he had last seen them. and found them safe. and every head was prematurely white.

and the hedge at the roadside retreating by jerks. The passenger would then start to himself. ‘Wait! It would kill me if I saw her too soon. the passenger in his fancy would dig.’ ‘I hope you care to live?’ ‘I can’t say. now with a great key. ‘Take me to her. it was given in a tender rain of tears. the night 23 of 670 . Yet even when his eyes were opened on the mist and rain. ‘I don’t know her. and then it was.A Tale of Two Cities ‘You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?’ ‘Long ago. I don’t understand. he would suddenly fan away to dust. Got out at last. dig—now with a spade. now with his hands—to dig this wretched creature out.’ ‘You know that you are recalled to life?’ ‘They tell me so. and lower the window.’ After such imaginary discourse.’ Sometimes it was staring and bewildered.’ ‘Shall I show her to you? Will you come and see her?’ The answers to this question were various and contradictory. to get the reality of mist and rain on his cheek. and dig.’ Sometimes. with earth hanging about his face and hair. on the moving patch of light from the lamps. and then it was. Sometimes the broken reply was.

‘Buried how long?’ ‘Almost eighteen years. ‘Buried how long?’ ‘Almost eighteen years.A Tale of Two Cities shadows outside the coach would fall into the train of the night shadows within. and he would accost it again. would all be there. and speculate upon the two slumbering forms. until his mind lost its hold of them. and the real message returned.’ The words were still in his hearing as just spoken— distinctly in his hearing as ever spoken words had been in his life—when the weary passenger started to the 24 of 670 . Out of the midst of them. the real business of the past day. and they again slid away into the bank and the grave.’ ‘I hope you care to live?’ ‘I can’t say. The real Banking-house by Temple Bar. draw his arm securely through the leathern strap.’ ‘You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?’ ‘Long ago. the ghostly face would rise. the real strong rooms.’ Dig—dig—dig—until an impatient movement from one of the two passengers would admonish him to pull up the window. the real express sent after him.

‘Eighteen years!’ said the passenger. and beautiful. and looked out at the rising sun. a quiet coppice-wood. looking at the sun. in which many leaves of burning red and golden yellow still remained upon the trees. ‘Gracious Creator of day! To be buried alive for eighteen years!’ 25 of 670 . Though the earth was cold and wet. There was a ridge of ploughed land. the sky was clear. He lowered the window. beyond.A Tale of Two Cities consciousness of daylight. with a plough upon it where it had been left last night when the horses were unyoked. and found that the shadows of the night were gone. placid. and the sun rose bright.

its disageeable smell. was rather like a larger sort of dog. sir?’ 26 of 670 . Bed. sir. shaking himself out of it in chains of straw. The mildewy inside of the coach. in the course of the forenoon. By that time. drawer?’ ‘Yes. Mr. and its obscurity. there was only one adventurous traveller left be congratulated: for the two others had been set down at their respective roadside destinations. He did it with some flourish of ceremony.A Tale of Two Cities IV The Preparation When the mail got successfully to Dover. the passenger. sir. was rather like a larger dog-kennel. tomorrow. Lorry. ‘There will be a packet to Calais. with its damp and dirty straw. if the weather holds and the wind sets tolerable fair. The tide will serve pretty nicely at about two in the afternoon. a tangle of shaggy wrapper. and muddy legs. for a mail journey from London in winter was an achievement to congratulate an adventurous traveller upon. flapping hat. the head drawer at the Royal George Hotel opened the coach-door as his custom was.

when a gentleman of sixty. That way. with its light 27 of 670 . for Concord!’ The Concord bed-chamber being always assigned to a passenger by the mail. were all loitering by accident at various points of the road between the Concord and the coffee-room. if you please. the room had the odd interest for the establishment of the Royal George. that forenoon. and two porters. The coffee-room had no other occupant. that although but one kind of man was seen to go into it. than the gentleman in brown. formally dressed in a brown suit of clothes. His breakfasttable was drawn before the fire. but I want a bedroom. Consequently. pretty well worn. Show Concord! Gentleman’s valise and hot water to Concord.) Fetch barber to Concord. and several maids and the landlady. sir? Yes. (You will find a fine sea-coal fire.’ ‘And then breakfast. with large square cuffs and large flaps to the pockets. Stir about there. now. but very well kept. and a barber. Pull off gentleman’s boots in Concord. and passengers by the mail being always heavily wrapped up from head to foot. sir. and as he sat. sir. passed along on his way to his breakfast. another drawer. all kinds and varieties of men came out of it.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I shall not go to bed till night. sir.

was as white as the tops of the waves that broke upon the neighbouring beach. and his face. but which looked far more as though it were spun from filaments of silk or glass. that he might have been sitting for his portrait. Very orderly and methodical he looked. were trim. and were of a fine texture. for his brown stockings fitted sleek and close. though lined.A Tale of Two Cities shining on him. in years gone by. too. and a loud watch ticking a sonorous sermon under his flapped waist-coat. some pains to drill to the composed and reserved expression of Tellson’s Bank. and was a little vain of it. though not of a fineness in accordance with his stockings. was made of hair. as though it pitted its gravity and longevity against the levity and evanescence of the brisk fire. or the specks of sail that glinted in the sunlight far at sea. He had a good leg. he sat so still. his shoes and buckles. bore few traces of anxiety. He had a healthy colour in his cheeks. perhaps the confidential bachelor clerks in Tellson’s Bank were principally occupied with 28 of 670 . with a hand on each knee. though plain. setting very close to his head: which wig. He wore an odd little sleek crisp flaxen wig. A face habitually suppressed and quieted. was still lighted up under the quaint wig by a pair of moist bright eyes that it must have cost their owner. But. it is to be presumed. His linen. waiting for the meal.

She may ask for Mr. in Tellson and Company’s House. It is fifteen years since we—since I— came last from France.’ ‘Yes. like second-hand clothes. and perhaps second-hand cares. Tellson’s Bank in London. Completing his resemblance to a man who was sitting for his portrait. as well as an English one. Please to let me know. come easily off and on. or she may only ask for a gentleman from Tellson’s Bank. sir.’ ‘Yes.A Tale of Two Cities the cares of other people. Jarvis Lorry. sir. We are quite a French House. Not much in the habit of such travelling yourself. sir. as he moved his chair to it: ‘I wish accommodation prepared for a young lady who may come here at any time to-day.’ 29 of 670 .’ ‘Yes. sir. sir?’ ‘Not of late years. and he said to the drawer. A vast deal of travelling. We have oftentimes the honour to entertain your gentlemen in their travelling backwards and forwards betwixt London and Paris. Mr. Lorry dropped off to sleep. The arrival of his breakfast roused him.’ ‘Yes. sir?’ ‘Yes. sir. I think.

Before our people’s time here. The air 30 of 670 . the waiter shifted his napkin from his right arm to his left. According to the immemorial usage of waiters in all ages. madly. and ran its head into the chalk cliffs. sir. and thundered at the cliffs.’ ‘Indeed. that a House like Tellson and Company was flourishing. and brought the coast down. a matter of fifty.’ ‘I believe so. Lorry had finished his breakfast. as from an observatory or watchtower. sir. It thundered at the town. as he stepped backward from the table. When Mr. not to speak of fifteen years ago?’ ‘You might treble that. and say a hundred and fifty. sir? That was before my time here. he went out for a stroll on the beach. The little narrow.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Indeed. like a marine ostrich. The beach was a desert of heaps of sea and stones tumbling wildly about. sir. dropped into a comfortable attitude. and what it liked was destruction. and stood surveying the guest while he ate and drank. and the sea did what it liked.’ ‘But I would hold a pretty wager. crooked town of Dover hid itself away from the beach. sir. yet not be far from the truth. The George was in other hands at that time. sir!’ Rounding his mouth and both his eyes.

When it was dark.A Tale of Two Cities among the houses was of so strong a piscatory flavour that one might have supposed sick fish went up to be dipped in it. As the day declined into the afternoon. and had just poured out his last glassful of wine with as complete an appearance of satisfaction as is ever to be found in an elderly gentleman of a fresh complexion who 31 of 670 . in the live red coals. A bottle of good claret after dinner does a digger in the red coals no harm. digging. and it was remarkable that nobody in the neighbourhood could endure a lamplighter. as sick people went down to be dipped in the sea. which had been at intervals clear enough to allow the French coast to be seen. awaiting his dinner as he had awaited his breakfast. sometimes unaccountably realised large fortunes. Small tradesmen. otherwise than as it has a tendency to throw him out of work. and looking seaward: particularly at those times when the tide made. and he sat before the coffee-room fire. and a quantity of strolling about by night. and the air. Lorry had been idle a long time. Lorry’s thoughts seemed to cloud too. digging. Mr. and was near flood. became again charged with mist and vapour. who did no business whatever. his mind was busily digging. Mr. A little fishing was done in the port.

These had been oiled and oiled. dark room. He set down his glass untouched. 32 of 670 . as if THEY were buried. ‘This is Mam’selle!’ said he. and loaded with heavy dark tables. and would be happy to see the gentleman from Tellson’s. furnished in a funereal manner with black horsehair. settle his odd little flaxen wig at the ears. and no light to speak of could be expected from them until they were dug out. if it suited his pleasure and convenience. ‘So soon?’ Miss Manette had taken some refreshment on the road. when a rattling of wheels came up the narrow street. In a very few minutes the waiter came in to announce that Miss Manette had arrived from London. and was extremely anxious to see the gentleman from Tellson’s immediately. The gentleman from Tellson’s had nothing left for it but to empty his glass with an air of stolid desperation. and required none then. It was a large. in deep graves of black mahogany. until the two tall candles on the table in the middle of the room were gloomily reflected on every leaf.A Tale of Two Cities has got to the end of a bottle. and follow the waiter to Miss Manette’s apartment. and rumbled into the inn-yard.

a sudden vivid likeness passed before him. supposed Miss Manette to be. a hospital procession of negro cupids. and still holding her straw travelling. and a forehead with a singular capacity (remembering how young and smooth it was). in some adjacent room. were offering black baskets of Dead Sea fruit to 33 of 670 . of rifting and knitting itself into an expression that was not quite one of perplexity. or merely of a bright fixed attention. like a breath along the surface of the gaunt pier-glass behind her. a pair of blue eyes that met his own with an inquiring look. or wonder. until. pretty figure. on the frame of which. for the moment. The likeness passed away. having got past the two tall candles. or alarm. of a child whom he had held in his arms on the passage across that very Channel. picking his way over the well-worn Turkey carpet.hat by its ribbon in her hand. one cold time.A Tale of Two Cities The obscurity was so difficult to penetrate that Mr. when the hail drifted heavily and the sea ran high. As his eyes rested on a short. a young lady of not more than seventeen. he saw standing to receive him by the table between them and the fire. several headless and all cripples. in a riding-cloak. slight. though it included all the four expressions-as his eyes rested on these things. a quantity of golden hair. Lorry.

either word will do.’ ‘—respecting the small property of my poor father. as he made his formal bow again. ‘I kiss your hand.A Tale of Two Cities black divinities of the feminine gender-and he made his formal bow to Miss Manette. a little foreign in its accent. ‘I received a letter from the Bank. there to communicate with a gentleman of the Bank. sir. 34 of 670 .’ ‘Myself. but a very little indeed. informing me that some intelligence—or discovery—‘ ‘The word is not material.’ ‘As I was prepared to hear. whom I never saw—so long dead—‘ Mr. miss. sir. sir. He made her another bow. Lorry.’ In a very clear and pleasant young voice. so good as to be despatched to Paris for the purpose.’ said Mr. miss. and took his seat. with the manners of an earlier date. and cast a troubled look towards the hospital procession of negro cupids. yesterday. As if THEY had any help for anybody in their absurd baskets! ‘—rendered it necessary that I should go to Paris. with a pretty desire to convey to him that she felt how much older and wiser he was than she.’ She curtseyed to him (young ladies made curtseys in those days). ‘Pray take a seat. Lorry moved in his chair.

under that worthy gentleman’s protection. and that as I am an orphan and have no friend who could go with me. ‘It is very difficult to begin. and that I must prepare myself to find them of a surprising nature. and I naturally have a strong and eager interest to know what they are. ‘to be entrusted with the charge. in his indecision. as if with an 35 of 670 . sir. but I think a messenger was sent after him to beg the favour of his waiting for me here. I thank you very gratefully. again settling the crisp flaxen wig at the ears. I thank you indeed. that I should go to France. by those who know. Lorry.’ He did not begin. but. I should esteem it highly if I might be permitted to place myself. The young forehead lifted itself into that singular expression—but it was pretty and characteristic. that as it was considered necessary. The gentleman had left London. It was told me by the Bank that the gentleman would explain to me the details of the business. met her glance. he added.’ said Mr.’ ‘Naturally.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I replied to the Bank. besides being singular—and she raised her hand. I have done my best to prepare myself.’ ‘I was happy. and who are so kind as to advise me. Lorry.’ ‘Sir. I shall be more happy to execute it.’ said Mr. ‘Yes—I—‘ After a pause. during the journey.

Between the eyebrows and just over the little feminine nose. I presume. in a hurry. the expression deepened itself as she took her seat thoughtfully in the chair by which she had hitherto remained standing. ‘Yes. miss. the line of which was as delicate and fine as it was possible to be. and extended them outwards with an argumentative smile. with your leave. sir?’ ‘Am I not?’ Mr. I have a business charge to acquit myself of.A Tale of Two Cities involuntary action she caught at. Miss Manette?’ ‘If you please.’ ‘Miss Manette. sir. Lorry opened his hands. He watched her as she mused. or stayed some passing shadow.’ ‘Story!’ He seemed wilfully to mistake the word she had repeated. I cannot do better than address you as a young English lady. don’t heed me any more than if I was a speaking machine-truly. went on: ‘In your adopted country. In your reception of it. ‘Are you quite a stranger to me. I am not much else. in the banking business we usually call our connection our 36 of 670 . I will. when he added. I am a man of business. and the moment she raised her eyes again. the story of one of our customers. relate to you. customers.

of Beauvais. a scientific gentleman.’ ‘Not of Beauvais?’ ‘Why. the gentleman was of repute in Paris. Our relations were business relations. Like Monsieur Manette. your father. nothing like sentiment. there is no friendship in them. I have no feelings. and had been—oh! twenty years. I had the honour of knowing him there. but confidential. In a similar way I am. Like Monsieur Manette. His affairs. I have passed from one to another. of twenty years ago. I am a mere machine. or I have been. He married—an English lady—and I was one of the trustees. just as I pass from one of our customers to another in the course of my business day. in the course of my business life. no particular interest. yes. trustee of one kind or other for scores of our customers. in short. I was at that time in our French House. the gentleman was of Beauvais. To go on—‘ 37 of 670 . a man of great acquirements— a Doctor. He was a French gentleman.’ ‘At that time—I may ask. at what time. sir?’ ‘I speak. These are mere business relations. miss. like the affairs of many other French gentlemen and French families. your father. miss. were entirely in Tellson’s hands.A Tale of Two Cities customers.

’ After this odd description of his daily routine of employment. Lorry flattened his flaxen wig upon his 38 of 670 . I am almost sure it was you. ‘Miss Manette. and he put it with some ceremony to his lips. in turning an immense pecuniary Mangle. you have been the ward of Tellson’s House since.’ Mr. and that all the relations I hold with my fellow-creatures are mere business relations. sir. and I have been busy with the other business of Tellson’s House since. Lorry took the hesitating little hand that confidingly advanced to take his. it WAS I. it was you who brought me to England. or point what he said. when you reflect that I have never seen you since. He then conducted the young lady straightway to her chair again. I pass my whole life. No. and using his right by turns to rub his chin. Mr. And you will see how truly I spoke of myself just now. and I begin to think’ —the curiously roughened forehead was very intent upon him—‘that when I was left an orphan through my mother’s surviving my father only two years.A Tale of Two Cities ‘But this is my father’s story. pull his wig at the ears. Feelings! I have no time for them. miss. holding the chair-back with his left hand. and. no chance of them. in saying I had no feelings. stood looking down into her face while she sat looking up into his.

And she caught his wrist with both her hands. miss (as you have remarked). for nothing could be flatter than its shining surface was before). for instance. in a soothing tone.’ said Mr. ‘Pray. this is the story of your regretted father. and resumed his former attitude. if it had not been difficult to guess to what dreadful place. if he had suddenly and silently disappeared. Now comes the difference. wandered. though no art could trace him. As I was saying—‘ Her look so discomposed him that he stopped. if he had an enemy in some compatriot who could exercise a privilege that I in my own time have known the boldest people afraid to speak of in a whisper. ‘So far. and began anew: ‘As I was saying. bringing his left hand from the back of the chair to lay it on the supplicatory fingers that clasped him in so violent a tremble: ‘pray control your agitation— a matter of business. if Monsieur Manette had not died. indeed. across the water there. If your father had not died when he did—Don’t be frightened! How you start!’ She did.A Tale of Two Cities head with both hands (which was most unnecessary. start. Lorry. the privilege of filling up blank forms for the 39 of 670 . if he had been spirited away.

You can bear it?’ ‘I can bear anything but the uncertainty you leave me in at this moment. if the poor lady had suffered so intensely before her little child was born.’ ‘I entreat you to tell me more.A Tale of Two Cities consignment of any one to the oblivion of a prison for any length of time.’ ‘You speak collectedly. if his wife had implored the king. Now if this doctor’s wife. for any tidings of him. the court. sir. sir. that she came to the determination of sparing the poor child the inheritance of any part of the agony she had known the pains of.’ ‘A daughter. the queen. I am going to. That’s good!’ (Though his manner was less satisfied than his words. had suffered so intensely from this cause before her little child was born—‘ ‘The little child was a daughter. the Doctor of Beauvais. and you—ARE collected. Miss. by rearing her in the belief that her father was dead— No. 40 of 670 . and all quite in vain. though a lady of great courage and spirit. the clergy.’ ‘I will.—then the history of your father would have been the history of this unfortunate gentleman. Regard it as a matter of business-business that must be done. A-a-matter of business—don’t be distressed.) ‘A matter of business.

to grow to be blooming.’ Without directly answering to this appeal. that she communicated some reassurance to Mr. and happy. it would be so encouraging. or wasted there through many lingering years. ‘That’s right. at two years old. Miss Manette. And when she died—I believe broken-hearted— having never slackened her unavailing search for your father. she sat so still when he had very gently raised her. what nine times ninepence are.’ 41 of 670 . Jarvis Lorry. useful business. and how can I transact business if I am confused? Let us be clearheaded. without the dark cloud upon you of living in uncertainty whether your father soon wore his heart out in prison. she left you. good. beautiful. You confuse me. that’s right. Courage! Business! You have business before you. O dear. If you could kindly mention now.A Tale of Two Cities don’t kneel! In Heaven’s name why should you kneel to me!’ ‘For the truth. and the hands that had not ceased to clasp his wrists were so much more steady than they had been. for the truth!’ ‘A-a matter of business. for instance. your mother took this course with you. or how many shillings in twenty guineas. compassionate sir. I should be so much more at my ease about your state of mind.

in a low. awe-stricken voice. comfort. it is too probable. or of any other property. rest. though we will hope the best. The expression in the forehead. There has been no new discovery. as if she were saying it in a dream. Greatly changed. but—‘ He felt his wrist held closer. love. duty.A Tale of Two Cities As he said the words he looked down. She said. ‘I am going to see his Ghost! It will be his Ghost—not him!’ 42 of 670 . almost a wreck. to identify him if I can: you. and that what they had was secured to your mother and to you. it is possible. ‘But he has been—been found. which had so particularly attracted his notice. with an admiring pity. had deepened into one of pain and horror. Your father has been taken to the house of an old servant in Paris.’ A shiver ran through her frame. to restore him to life. ‘You know that your parents had no great possession. of money. alive. and which was now immovable. and we are going there: I. Still. as if he pictured to himself that it might have been already tinged with grey. distinct. on the flowing golden hair. and from it through his. and he stopped. He is alive.

Lorry. and 43 of 670 . Even I. It would be worse than useless now to inquire which. I have been happy. yet his Ghost has never haunted me!’ ‘Only one thing more. you will be soon at his dear side. avoid all naming of the matter. It would be worse than useless now to make any inquiries. long forgotten or long concealed. and to remove him—for a while at all events— out of France.’ She repeated in the same tone. Lorry quietly chafed the hands that held his arm.’ said Mr. You are well on your way to the poor wronged gentleman. This is a secret service altogether. important as they are to French credit. not a scrap of writing openly referring to it. with a fair sea voyage. I carry about me. anywhere or in any way. there. there! See now. and. and a fair land journey. because it would be dangerous. My credentials. laying stress upon it as a wholesome means of enforcing her attention: ‘he has been found under another name. safe as an Englishman. now. entries. worse than useless to seek to know whether he has been for years overlooked. see now! The best and the worst are known to you.A Tale of Two Cities Mr. or always designedly held prisoner. his own. ‘I have been free. ‘There. Better not to mention the subject. and even Tellson’s. sunk to a whisper.

and not even fallen back in her chair. and to have on her head a most wonderful bonnet like a Grenadier wooden measure. and good measure too.A Tale of Two Cities memoranda. and to have red hair.’ which may mean anything. by laying a brawny hand upon his chest. Lorry observed to be all of a red colour. Lorry’s breathless reflection. So close was her hold upon his arm. she sat under his hand. or a great Stilton cheese.) 44 of 670 . But what is the matter! She doesn’t notice a word! Miss Manette!’ Perfectly still and silent. are all comprehended in the one line. ("I really think this must be a man!’ was Mr. simultaneously with his coming against the wall. with her eyes open and fixed upon him. A wild-looking woman. whom even in his agitation. and with that last expression looking as if it were carved or branded into her forehead. Mr. and to be dressed in some extraordinary tightfitting fashion. ‘Recalled to Life. that he feared to detach himself lest he should hurt her. utterly insensible. came running into the room in advance of the inn servants. therefore he called out loudly for assistance without moving. and soon settled the question of his detachment from the poor young lady. and sending him flying back against the nearest wall.

while the strong woman. instead of standing there staring at me? I am not so much to look at. and coaxed her to lay her drooping head upon her shoulder. quick. Lorry was so exceedingly disconcerted by a question so hard to answer. without frightening her to death? Look at her. having banished the inn servants under the mysterious penalty of ‘letting them know’ something not mentioned if they stayed there.’ There was an immediate dispersal for these restoratives. Do you call THAT being a Banker?’ Mr. Lorry. and she softly laid the patient on a sofa. look at you all!’ bawled this figure. ‘And you in brown!’ she said. staring. indignantly turning to Mr. with her pretty pale face and her cold hands. with much feebler sympathy and humility. addressing the inn servants. if you don’t bring smelling-salts. 45 of 670 . and tended her with great skill and gentleness: calling her ‘my precious!’ and ‘my bird!’ and spreading her golden hair aside over her shoulders with great pride and care.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Why. recovered her charge by a regular series of gradations. and vinegar. at a distance. that he could only look on. couldn’t you tell her what you had to tell her. ‘Why don’t you go and fetch things. I will. am I? Why don’t you go and fetch things? I’ll let you know. cold water.

if she does.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I hope she will do well now. ‘No thanks to you in brown.’ said Mr. too!’ replied the strong woman. 46 of 670 . Jarvis Lorry withdrew to consider it. ‘that you accompany Miss Manette to France?’ ‘A likely thing. Lorry. ‘If it was ever intended that I should go across salt water. My darling pretty!’ ‘I hope.’ said Mr. after another pause of feeble sympathy and humility. Mr. do you suppose Providence would have cast my lot in an island?’ This being another question hard to answer. Lorry.

Others. men and women. dipped in the puddles with little mugs of mutilated earthenware. before the wine had all run out between their fingers. or their idleness. the hoops had burst. made scoops of their two hands joined. The rough.embankments. All the people within reach had suspended their business.A Tale of Two Cities V The Wine-shop A large cask of wine had been dropped and broken. had dammed it into little pools. Some men kneeled down. pointing every way. in the street. to sip. or tried to help women. or even with handkerchiefs from women’s heads. to run to the spot and drink the wine. to stem the wine 47 of 670 . shattered like a walnut-shell. expressly to lame all living creatures that approached them. who bent over their shoulders. one might have thought. and designed. according to its size. which were squeezed dry into infants’ mouths. the cask had tumbled out with a run. these were surrounded. irregular stones of the street. others made small mud. The accident had happened in getting it out of a cart. and it lay on the stones just outside the door of the wine-shop. each by its own jostling group or crowd. and sipped.

The man who had left his saw sticking in the firewood he was cutting. and much playfulness. directed by lookers-on up at high windows. women. shaking of hands. When the wine was gone. others. There was little roughness in the sport. an observable inclination on the part of every one to join some other one. but so much mud got taken up along with it. the 48 of 670 . that there might have been a scavenger in the street. and even joining of hands and dancing. set it in motion again. licking. if anybody acquainted with it could have believed in such a miraculous presence. to frolicsome embraces. and children—resounded in the street while this wine game lasted. these demonstrations ceased. and even champing the moister wine-rotted fragments with eager relish. to cut off little streams of wine that started away in new directions. especially among the luckier or lighter-hearted. others devoted themselves to the sodden and lee-dyed pieces of the cask. a dozen together. A shrill sound of laughter and of amused voices—voices of men. and the places where it had been most abundant were raked into a gridiron-pattern by fingers. as suddenly as they had broken out. There was no drainage to carry off the wine. There was a special companionship in it. darted here and there. which led. and not only did it all get taken up.A Tale of Two Cities as it ran. drinking of healths.

scrawled upon a wall with his finger dipped in muddy wine-lees—BLOOD. and many naked feet. men with bare arms. It had stained many hands. too. his head more out of a long squalid bag of a nightcap than in it. and many wooden shoes. and many faces. and one tall joker so besmirched. returned to it. and cadaverous faces. and the forehead of the woman who nursed her baby. 49 of 670 . when that wine too would be spilled on the street-stones. to descend again. and when the stain of it would be red upon many there. The hands of the man who sawed the wood.A Tale of Two Cities women who had left on a door-step the little pot of hot ashes. The wine was red wine. was stained with the stain of the old rag she wound about her head again. matted locks. left red marks on the billets. and a gloom gathered on the scene that appeared more natural to it than sunshine. in Paris. The time was to come. moved away. who had emerged into the winter light from cellars. or in those of her child. and had stained the ground of the narrow street in the suburb of Saint Antoine. had acquired a tigerish smear about the mouth. Those who had been greedy with the staves of the cask. at which she had been trying to soften the pain in her own starved fingers and toes. where it was spilled.

was the mill that grinds young people old. was the sigh. Hunger was repeated in every fragment of the small modicum of firewood that the man sawed off. most especially the last. among its refuse. in the wretched clothing that hung upon poles and lines. looked from every window. passed in and out at every doorway.A Tale of Two Cities And now that the cloud settled on Saint Antoine. It was prevalent everywhere. Hunger stared down from the smokeless chimneys. the darkness of it was heavy-cold. fluttered in every vestige of a garment that the wind shook. of anything to eat. shivered at every corner. the children had ancient faces and grave voices. and upon the grown faces. Hunger was the inscription on the baker’s 50 of 670 . and upon them. sickness. Hunger was pushed out of the tall houses. Hunger. but. and certainly not in the fabulous mill which ground old people young. were the lords in waiting on the saintly presence-nobles of great power all of them. and ploughed into every furrow of age and coming up afresh. and want. ignorance. Samples of a people that had undergone a terrible grinding and regrinding in the mill. Hunger was patched into them with straw and rag and wood and paper. and started up from the filthy street that had no offal. The mill which had worked them down. dirt. which a momentary gleam had driven from his sacred countenance.

Hunger was shred into atomics in every farthing porringer of husky chips of potato. and all visible things with a brooding look upon them that looked ill. The butcher and the porkman painted up. full of offence and stench. Its abiding place was in all things fitted to it. written in every small loaf of his scanty stock of bad bread. all. the coarsest of meagre loaves. and all smelling of rags and nightcaps. grim illustrations of Want. at the sausage-shop. The people rudely pictured as drinking in the wine-shops.A Tale of Two Cities shelves. the baker. all peopled by rags and nightcaps. in every dead-dog preparation that was offered for sale. or inflicting. white with what they suppressed. Hunger rattled its dry bones among the roasting chestnuts in the turned cylinder. croaked over their scanty measures of thin 51 of 670 . only the leanest scrags of meat. The trade signs (and they were almost as many as the shops) were. fried with some reluctant drops of oil. nor compressed lips. nor foreheads knitted into the likeness of the gallows-rope they mused about enduring. with other narrow winding streets diverging. A narrow winding street. Depressed and slinking though they were. eyes of fire were not wanting among them. In the hunted air of the people there was yet some wild-beast thought of the possibility of turning at bay.

as if they were at sea. with their many little reservoirs of mud and water. as to conceive the idea of improving on his method. and the gunmaker’s stock was murderous. The kennel. and the ship and crew were in peril of tempest. and hauling up men by those ropes and pulleys. and every wind that blew over France shook the rags of the 52 of 670 . the time was to come. Indeed they were at sea. Nothing was represented in a flourishing condition. to make amends. the cutler’s knives and axes were sharp and bright. but. into the houses. the smith’s hammers were heavy. had no footways. and then it ran. and were gloweringly confidential together. Across the streets. save tools and weapons. but broke off abruptly at the doors. and lighted. to flare upon the darkness of their condition. The crippling stones of the pavement. when the gaunt scarecrows of that region should have watched the lamplighter. when the lamplighter had let these down. But.A Tale of Two Cities wine and beer. ran down the middle of the street—when it ran at all: which was only after heavy rains. in their idleness and hunger. one clumsy lamp was slung by a rope and pulley. at night. a feeble grove of dim wicks swung in a sickly manner overhead. For. by many eccentric fits. at wide intervals. and hoisted them again. so long. the time was not come yet.

looking on at the struggle for the lost wine. my Gaspard. crossing the road. ‘The people from the market did it. as is often the way with his tribe too. for the birds. in a yellow waistcoat and green breeches. ‘Why do you write in the public streets? Is there—tell me thou—is there no other place to write such words in?’ In his expostulation he dropped his cleaner hand (perhaps accidentally. then. Let them bring another. took no warning. ‘It’s not my affair. The wine-shop was a corner shop. he called to him across the way: ‘Say. as is often the way with his tribe. and obliterating the jest with a handful of mud.’ said he. with a final shrug of the shoulders. and smeared over it. 53 of 670 .’ There. ‘What now? Are you a subject for the mad hospital?’ said the wine-shop keeper. It missed its mark. his eyes happening to catch the tall joker writing up his joke. and the master of the wine-shop had stood outside it. better than most others in its appearance and degree.A Tale of Two Cities scarecrows in vain. what do you do there?’ The fellow pointed to his joke with immense significance. and completely failed. perhaps not) upon the joker’s heart. fine of song and feather. picked up for the purpose.

wine. he wiped his soiled hand upon the joker’s dress. Neither did he wear anything more on his head than his own crisply-curling short dark hair. but carried one slung over his shoulder. he looked. took a nimble spring upward. a man not desirable to be met. under those circumstances.’ With that advice. He was a dark man altogether. His shirtsleeves were rolled up. This wine-shop keeper was a bull-necked. evidently a man of a strong resolution and a set purpose. although it was a bitter day. put it on. such as it was—quite deliberately. rushing down a narrow pass with a gulf on either side. ‘Call wine. too. but implacable-looking. A joker of an extremely. and came down in a fantastic dancing attitude. too. and his brown arms were bare to the elbows. with good eyes and a good bold breadth between them.’ said the other. 54 of 670 . and he should have been of a hot temperament.A Tale of Two Cities The joker rapped it with his own. not to say wolfishly practical character. as having dirtied the hand on his account. for nothing would turn the man. and finish there. with one of his stained shoes jerked off his foot into his hand. he wore no coat. Good-humoured looking on the whole. and held out. martiallooking man of thirty. for. ‘Put it on. and then recrossed the road and entered the wine-shop.

with a watchful eye that seldom seemed to look at anything. Her knitting was before her. from which one might have predicated that she did not often make mistakes against herself in any of the reckonings over which she presided. There was a character about Madame Defarge. Thus engaged. Madame Defarge being sensitive to cold. suggested to her husband that he would do well to look round the shop among the customers. but coughed just one grain of cough. though not to the concealment of her large earrings. and had a quantity of bright shawl twined about her head. This. until they rested upon an elderly gentleman and a 55 of 670 . and great composure of manner. The wine-shop keeper accordingly rolled his eyes about. in combination with the lifting of her darkly defined eyebrows over her toothpick by the breadth of a line. Madame Defarge said nothing when her lord came in. with her right elbow supported by her left hand. a large hand heavily ringed. his wife. but she had laid it down to pick her teeth with a toothpick. Madame Defarge was a stout woman of about his own age. strong features. a steady face. for any new customer who had dropped in while he stepped over the way. sat in the shop behind the counter as he came in.A Tale of Two Cities Madame Defarge. was wrapped in fur.

coughed another grain of cough. picking her teeth with her toothpick. Is it not so.’ ‘What the devil do YOU do in that galley there?’ said Monsieur Defarge to himself. two playing dominoes. who were seated in a corner.A Tale of Two Cities young lady. 56 of 670 . Jacques?’ ‘It is so. and raised her eyebrows by the breadth of another line. ‘It is not often. he feigned not to notice the two strangers. ‘How goes it. ‘that many of these miserable beasts know the taste of wine. Jacques.’ But. ‘Is all the spilt wine swallowed?’ ‘Every drop. When this interchange of Christian name was effected.’ Monsieur Defarge returned. ‘I don’t know you.’ answered Monsieur Defarge. and fell into discourse with the triumvirate of customers who were drinking at the counter. addressing Monsieur Defarge.’ said the second of the three. or of anything but black bread and death. he took notice that the elderly gentleman said in a look to the young lady. Jacques?’ said one of these three to Monsieur Defarge. Madame Defarge. Other company were there: two playing cards. Jacques. ‘This is our man. three standing by the counter lengthening out a short supply of wine. As he passed behind the counter.

and slightly rustled in her seat. with three flourishes. Then she glanced in a casual manner round the wine-shop. and raised her eyebrows by the breadth of another line. ‘Ah! So much the worse! A bitter taste it is that such poor cattle always have in their mouths. still using her toothpick with profound composure. This third interchange of the Christian name was completed at the moment when Madame Defarge put her toothpick by.’ was the response of Monsieur Defarge. Madame Defarge. The last of the three now said his say. ‘Gentlemen—my wife!’ The three customers pulled off their hats to Madame Defarge. and giving them a quick look. kept her eyebrows up. ‘Hold then! True!’ muttered her husband. She acknowledged their homage by bending her head. Jacques?’ ‘You are right. took up her knitting with great apparent calmness and repose of spirit. and became absorbed in it.A Tale of Two Cities At this second interchange of the Christian name. Jacques. Am I right. and hard lives they live. 57 of 670 . coughed another grain of cough. Jacques. as he put down his empty drinking vessel and smacked his lips.

went out. furnished bachelor. too. Madame Defarge knitted with nimble fingers and steady eyebrows.fashion.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Gentlemen. Mr. that you wished to see. and were inquiring for when I stepped out. The chamber. and quietly stepped with him to the door. and can show the way. Monsieur Defarge started and became deeply attentive. The doorway of the staircase gives on the little courtyard close to the left here. It had not lasted a minute. but very decided. and begged the favour of a word. Gentlemen. The eyes of Monsieur Defarge were studying his wife at her knitting when the elderly gentleman advanced from his corner. Almost at the first word.’ pointing with his hand. when he nodded and went out.’ said Monsieur Defarge. one of you has already been there. emerging from the wine-shop thus. ‘good day. is on the fifth floor. and they. and left the place. now that I remember. ‘near to the window of my establishment. who had kept his bright eye observantly upon her. joined Monsieur Defarge in the doorway 58 of 670 . Their conference was very short. and saw nothing. sir. adieu!’ They paid for their wine. But. ‘Willingly. The gentleman then beckoned to the young lady.’ said her husband. Jarvis Lorry and Miss Manette.

‘It is very high. but not at all gently done. It was a gentle action. a very remarkable transformation had come over him in a few seconds. in the same low voice. dangerous man.A Tale of Two Cities to which he had directed his own company just before. then?’ ‘Yes. to Mr. and put her hand to his lips.’ ‘Of his own desire?’ ‘Of his own necessity.paved entry to the gloomy tile-paved staircase. Better to begin slowly. as they began ascending the stairs. but had become a secret. Lorry. so he is now. In the gloomy tile. As he was. It opened from a stinking little black courtyard. ‘Is he always alone. nor any openness of aspect left. when I first saw him after they found me and demanded to know if I would take him. at my peril be discreet—as he was then. He had no goodhumour in his face. it is a little difficult. ‘Alone! God help him. inhabited by a great number of people. Monsieur Defarge bent down on one knee to the child of his old master. angry.’ Thus. and. in a stern voice. and was the general public entrance to a great pile of houses. ‘Is he alone?’ the latter whispered. who should be with him!’ said the other. Monsieur Defarge.’ 59 of 670 .

Mr. even if poverty and deprivation had not loaded it with their intangible impurities. Every little habitation within the great foul nest of one high building—that is to say.A Tale of Two Cities ‘He is greatly changed?’ ‘Changed!’ The keeper of the wine-shop stopped to strike the wall with his hand. Jarvis Lorry twice stopped to rest. Through such an atmosphere. besides flinging other refuse from its own windows. would have polluted the air. at that time. Such a staircase. but. which became greater every instant. The uncontrollable and hopeless mass of decomposition so engendered. and to his young companion’s agitation. the room or rooms within every door that opened on the general staircase—left its own heap of refuse on its own landing. Mr. and mutter a tremendous curse. it was vile indeed to unaccustomed and unhardened senses. in the older and more crowded parts of Paris. by a steep dark shaft of dirt and poison. Yielding to his own disturbance of mind. the two bad sources combined made it almost insupportable. No direct answer could have been half so forcible. would be bad enough now. with its accessories. Each of these stoppages was 60 of 670 . the way lay. as he and his two companions ascended higher and higher. Lorry’s spirits grew heavier and heavier.

the top of the staircase was gained. were caught of the jumbled neighbourhood. and always going on the side which Mr. took out a key. tastes. ‘The door is locked then. as though he dreaded to be asked any question by the young lady. nearer or lower than the summits of the two great towers of Notre-Dame. There was yet an upper staircase. before the garret story was reached. had any promise on it of healthy life or wholesome aspirations. seemed to escape. turned himself about here.’ was the grim reply of Monsieur Defarge. and they stopped for the third time. by which any languishing good airs that were left uncorrupted. Lorry took. to be ascended. always going a little in advance. ‘You think it necessary to keep the unfortunate gentleman so retired?’ 61 of 670 . Lorry. and. carefully feeling in the pockets of the coat he carried over his shoulder. Through the rusted bars.A Tale of Two Cities made at a doleful grating. and nothing within range. rather than glimpses. The keeper of the wine-shop. and all spoilt and sickly vapours seemed to crawl in. surprised. At last. of a steeper inclination and of contracted dimensions. ‘Ay. my friend?’ said Mr. Yes.

but done—done. see you!—under that sky there. Let our good friend here. such dread and terror. That’s well. ‘Yes. ‘Courage. and not only possible. and her face expressed such deep anxiety. bitterly. that Mr. it is but passing the room-door. And a beautiful world we live in. locked up. and the worst is over. all the relief. by this time she trembled under such strong emotion. and when many other such things are possible.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I think it necessary to turn the key. and frowned heavily. assist you on that side. above all. and. ‘Why?’ ‘Why! Because he has lived so long. all the happiness you bring to him. Then. ‘Is it possible!’ repeated Defarge.’ ‘Is it possible!’ exclaimed Mr. Long live the Devil. dear miss! Courage! Business! The worst will be over in a moment. when it IS possible.’ Monsieur Defarge whispered it closer in his ear.’ This dialogue had been held in so very low a whisper. now. business!’ 62 of 670 . that not a word of it had reached the young lady’s ears. Lorry felt it incumbent on him to speak a word or two of reassurance. Lorry. friend Defarge. all the good you bring to him. Come. begin. that he would be frightened-rave-tear himself to pieces-die-come to I know not what harm—if his door was left open. But. every day. Let us go on. Business.

’ explained Monsieur Defarge. good boys. they came all at once in sight of three men. to a chosen few. and showed themselves to be the three of one name who had been drinking in the wine-shop. and the keeper of the wine-shop going straight to this one when they were left alone. and they were soon at the top. as it had an abrupt turn in it. The staircase was short. and who were intently looking into the room to which the door belonged. whose heads were bent down close together at the side of a door. we have business here. and went silently down. with a little anger: ‘Do you make a show of Monsieur Manette?’ ‘I show him. Lorry asked him in a whisper. and rose.’ The three glided by. Mr. ‘Leave us. There appearing to be no other door on that floor. There.A Tale of Two Cities They went up slowly and softly.’ ‘Is that well?’ ‘I think it is well. through some chinks or holes in the wall. ‘I forgot them in the surprise of your visit. these three turned. On hearing footsteps close at hand.’ ‘Who are the few? How do you choose them?’ 63 of 670 . in the way you have seen.

Soon raising his head again. Mr. Stay there. A faint voice answered something. and beckoned them to enter. before he put it clumsily into the lock.’ With an admonitory gesture to keep them back. three or four times. ‘A-a-a-business. if you please. that is another thing. a little moment. ‘Come in. and looked in through the crevice in the wall. he struck twice or thrice upon the door—evidently with no other object than to make a noise there. He looked back over his shoulder.’ she answered. ‘Of it? What?’ 64 of 670 . and he looked into the room and said something. Lorry got his arm securely round the daughter’s waist.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I choose them as real men. come in!’ ‘I am afraid of it. The door slowly opened inward under his hand. and held her. you are English. With the same intention. shuddering. business!’ he urged. for he felt that she was sinking. of my name—Jacques is my name—to whom the sight is likely to do good. and turned it as heavily as he could. with a moisture that was not of business shining on his cheek. he drew the key across it. he stooped. Enough. Little more than a single syllable could have been spoken on either side.

the window of dormer shape. one half of this door was fast closed. To exclude the cold. clinging to him. and faced round. Of my father. was in truth a door in the roof. and hurried her into the room.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I mean of him. Defarge drew out the key. He sat her down just within the door.’ Rendered in a manner desperate. the ability to do any work requiring nicety in such obscurity. closed the door. All this he did. lifted her a little. locked it on the inside. was dim and dark: for. and long habit alone could have slowly formed in any one. he drew over his neck the arm that shook upon his shoulder. Such a scanty portion of light was admitted through these means. on first coming in. by her state and by the beckoning of their conductor. He stopped there. he walked across the room with a measured tread to where the window was. The garret. and with as loud and harsh an accompaniment of noise as he could make. that it was difficult. Finally. and held it in his hand. and held her. to see anything. like any other door of French construction. and closing up the middle in two pieces. with a little crane over it for the hoisting up of stores from the street: unglazed. built to be a depository for firewood and the like. and the other was opened but a very little way. took out the key again. methodically. 65 of 670 .

with his back towards the door. for.A Tale of Two Cities Yet. stooping forward and very busy. 66 of 670 . a white-haired man sat on a low bench. making shoes. and his face towards the window where the keeper of the wine-shop stood looking at him. work of that kind was being done in the garret.

So entirely had it lost the life and resonance of the human voice. looking down at the white head that bent low over the shoemaking.’ This time. It was like the last feeble echo of a sound made long and long ago. and the voice replied. as if it were at a distance: ‘Good day!’ ‘You are still hard at work. that it was the faintness of solitude and disuse. before the face had dropped again.A Tale of Two Cities VI The Shoemaker ‘Good day!’ said Monsieur Defarge. It was raised for a moment. that it affected the senses like a once beautiful colour faded away into a poor weak stain. The faintness of the voice was pitiable and dreadful. the head was lifted for another moment. of a 67 of 670 . that it was like a voice underground. and a very faint voice responded to the salutation. though confinement and hard fare no doubt had their part in it. It was not the faintness of physical weakness. a pair of haggard eyes had looked at the questioner. So sunken and suppressed it was. Its deplorable peculiarity was. So expressive it was. ‘Yes—I am working. I see?’ After a long silence.

pausing in his labour. that the spot where the only visitor they were aware of had stood.’ said Defarge. His 68 of 670 .’ (Laying the palest shadow of a stress upon the second word. and secured at that angle for the time. and showed the workman with an unfinished shoe upon his lap. then. A broad ray of light fell into the garret. Some minutes of silent work had passed: and the haggard eyes had looked up again: not with any interest or curiosity. ‘I want. who had not removed his gaze from the shoemaker. wearied out by lonely wandering in a wilderness. ‘to let in a little more light here.) The opened half-door was opened a little further. that a famished traveller. ‘What did you say?’ ‘You can bear a little more light?’ ‘I must bear it. was not yet empty. would have remembered home and friends in such a tone before lying down to die. at the floor on one side of him. upward at the speaker. but with a dull mechanical perception. then similarly. beforehand.A Tale of Two Cities hopeless and lost creature. at the floor on the other side of him. looked with a vacant air of listening. if you let it in. You can bear a little more?’ The shoemaker stopped his work.

though they had been really otherwise. raggedly cut. pausing in his work. he never spoke. and showed his body to be withered and worn. that it would have been hard to say which was which. without first wandering in this manner. and his old canvas frock. in a long seclusion from direct light and air. under his yet dark eyebrows and his confused white hair. a hollow face. motioning to Mr. but not very long. He had a white beard. then on that. had. faded down to such a dull uniformity of parchment-yellow. Lorry to come forward. ‘Are you going to finish that pair of shoes to-day?’ asked Defarge. without first looking down on this side of himself. He had put up a hand between his eyes and the light. So he sat. and his loose stockings. His yellow rags of shirt lay open at the throat. He. and the very bones of it seemed transparent. and all his poor tatters of clothes. 69 of 670 . and looked unnaturally so. as if he had lost the habit of associating place with sound. The hollowness and thinness of his face would have caused them to look large. He never looked at the figure before him. but. they were naturally large. with a steadfastly vacant gaze.A Tale of Two Cities few common tools and various scraps of leather were at his feet and on his bench. and forgetting to speak. and exceedingly bright eyes.

The look and the action had occupied but an instant. and he bent over it again.’ The shoemaker looked up as before.’ Mr. When he had stood.’ But. ‘What did you say?’ ‘Here is a visitor. Lorry took it in his hand. leaving the daughter by the door. the question reminded him of his work. monsieur. I don’t know. you see. but without removing a hand from his work. Take it. but the unsteady fingers of one of his hands strayed to his lips as he looked at it (his lips and his nails were of the same pale leadcolour). and he once more bent over the shoe. for a minute or two. Mr. Show him that shoe you are working at. I suppose so. Lorry came silently forward. 70 of 670 . who knows a well-made shoe when he sees one. by the side of Defarge. He showed no surprise at seeing another figure.’ said Monsieur Defarge. ‘Come!’ said Defarge. ‘You have a visitor. and then the hand dropped to his work. ‘Here is monsieur.A Tale of Two Cities ‘What did you say?’ ‘Do you mean to finish that pair of shoes to-day?’ ‘I can’t say that I mean to. the shoemaker looked up.

he laid the knuckles of the right hand in the hollow of the left. What did you say?’ ‘I said. without a moment’s intermission. It is in the present mode. and then passed a hand across his bearded chin. in the hope of some disclosure. Now that he had no work to hold.’ There was a longer pause than usual. and the maker’s name.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Tell monsieur what kind of shoe it is. The task of recalling him from the vagrancy into which he always sank when he had spoken. and so on in regular changes. I have had a pattern in my hand. It is a young lady’s walking-shoe. I never saw the mode. and then the knuckles of the left hand in the hollow of the right. ‘Did you ask me for my name?’ ‘Assuredly I did. to stay the spirit of a fast-dying man. for monsieur’s information?’ ‘It is a lady’s shoe. ‘And the maker’s name?’ said Defarge. couldn’t you describe the kind of shoe. was like recalling some very weak person from a swoon. before the shoemaker replied: ‘I forget what it was you asked me.’ He glanced at the shoe with some little passing touch of pride. or endeavouring.’ 71 of 670 .

I taught myself. at last. Lorry. he started. reverting to a subject of last night. and I have made shoes ever since.’ 72 of 670 . even for minutes. I was not a shoemaker by trade. and resumed. they turned back on the questioner when they had sought the ground. I-I learnt it here.A Tale of Two Cities ‘One Hundred and Five.’ With a weary sound that was not a sigh. nor a groan. in the manner of a sleeper that moment awake.’ ‘Is that all?’ ‘One Hundred and Five. when they rested on it. ‘I asked leave to teach myself. North Tower. I asked leave to—‘ He lapsed away. looking steadfastly at him. ‘I am not a shoemaker by trade? No. to the face from which they had wandered. His haggard eyes turned to Defarge as if he would have transferred the question to him: but as no help came from that quarter. until the silence was again broken. ‘You are not a shoemaker by trade?’ said Mr. and I got it with much difficulty after a long while. he bent to work again. His eyes came slowly back. North Tower. ringing those measured changes on his hands the whole time.

but which were now extending towards him. no old servant. but they had been there. rising in your mind. Monsieur Manette?’ As the captive of many years sat looking fixedly. Lorry laid his hand upon Defarge’s arm. trembling with eagerness to 73 of 670 . ‘Monsieur Manette". gradually forced themselves through the black mist that had fallen on him. do you remember nothing of me?’ The shoe dropped to the ground. ‘do you remember nothing of this man? Look at him. Lorry and at Defarge.A Tale of Two Cities As he held out his hand for the shoe that had been taken from him. still looking steadfastly in his face: ‘Monsieur Manette. at Mr. they were fainter. And so exactly was the expression repeated on the fair young face of her who had crept along the wall to a point where she could see him. they were gone. no old business. and he sat looking fixedly at the questioner. if not even to keep him off and shut out the sight of him. with hands which at first had been only raised in frightened compassion. by turns. They were overclouded again. Lorry said. no old time. some long obliterated marks of an actively intent intelligence in the middle of the forehead. Is there no old banker. Mr. Look at me. Mr. and where she now stood looking at him.

Hush!’ She had moved from the wall of the garret. At first I thought it quite hopeless. but I have unquestionably seen. not a sound was made. 74 of 670 . with a deep long sigh. very near to the bench on which he sat. and his eyes in gloomy abstraction sought the ground and looked about him in the old way. that it looked as though it had passed like a moving light. ‘Yes. the face that I once knew so well. for a moment. monsieur?’ asked Defarge in a whisper. and love it back to life and hope—so exactly was the expression repeated (though in stronger characters) on her fair young face. beside him. Hush! Let us draw further back. for a single moment. he took the shoe up. There was something awful in his unconsciousness of the figure that could have put out its hand and touched him as he stooped over his labour. less and less attentively. like a spirit. from him to her. He looked at the two. Finally. Darkness had fallen on him in its place. ‘Have you recognised him. and resumed his work. Not a word was spoken. and he bent over his work. She stood.A Tale of Two Cities lay the spectral face upon her warm young breast.

It lay on that side of him which was not the side on which she stood. He recoiled. in the pauses of his quick and laboured breathing. at length. he was heard to say: ‘What is this?’ With the tears streaming down her face. and was stooping to work again. and saw her face. By degrees.A Tale of Two Cities It happened. when his eyes caught the skirt of her dress. for his shoemaker’s knife. though they had. but she laid her hand upon his arm. ‘You are not the gaoler’s daughter?’ She sighed ‘No. He raised them. The two spectators started forward. and after a while his lips began to form some words. she put her two hands to her lips. but she stayed them with a motion of her hand.’ ‘Who are you?’ Not yet trusting the tones of her voice. He had taken it up. she sat down on the bench beside him. then clasped them on her breast. She had no fear of his striking at her with the knife. though no sound proceeded from them. A strange thrill struck him when she 75 of 670 . as if she laid his ruined head there. He stared at her with a fearful look. and kissed them to him. that he had occasion to change the instrument in his hand.

and fell down over her neck. He turned her full to the light. as if to be sure that it was really there. had been hurriedly pushed aside. In the midst of the action he went astray. fell to work at his shoemaking. Advancing his hand by little and little. as he sat staring at her. ‘It is the same. two or three times. and looked closely at it. and took off a blackened string with a scrap of folded rag attached to it. and looked at her. But not for long. He took her hair into his hand again. and. he seemed to become conscious that it was in hers too. he laid the knife down’ softly. 76 of 670 . Releasing his arm. he took it up and looked at it. which he had. he laid down his work.A Tale of Two Cities did so. on his knee. After looking doubtfully at it. put his hand to his neck. and visibly passed over his frame. wound off upon his finger. carefully. How can it be! When was it! How was it!’ As the concentrated expression returned to his forehead. she laid her hand upon his shoulder. with another deep sigh. which she wore in long curls. He opened this. and it contained a very little quantity of hair: not more than one or two long golden hairs. in some old day. Her golden hair.

as he turned upon her with a frightful suddenness.’ Those were the words I said. 77 of 670 . do not come near us. though I had none—and when I was brought to the North Tower they found these upon my sleeve. they came to him coherently. and he refolded his little packet and tried to secure it in his breast. ‘How was this?—WAS IT YOU?’ Once more. and gloomily shook his head. do not speak. But when he did find spoken words for it.’ He formed this speech with his lips many times before he could utter it. do not move!’ ‘Hark!’ he exclaimed. ‘I entreat you. which they tore in a frenzy. and went up to his white hair. the two spectators started. good gentlemen. But she sat perfectly still in his grasp. I remember them very well. in a low voice. though they may in the spirit. It died out.A Tale of Two Cities ‘She had laid her head upon my shoulder. that night when I was summoned out—she had a fear of my going. ‘You will leave me them? They can never help me to escape in the body. ‘Whose voice was that?’ His hands released her as he uttered this cry. though slowly. as everything but his shoemaking did die out of him. but he still looked at her. and only said.

this is not the face she knew. She was—and He was—before the slow years of the North Tower—ages ago. kiss me! O my dear. my dear!’ His cold white head mingled with her radiant hair. and I cannot tell you here. and who my mother was. sir. It can’t be. See what the prisoner is. What is your name. but I hope it is—if you hear in my voice any resemblance to a voice that once was sweet music in your ears. anything that recalls a beloved head that lay on your breast when you were young and free. that I pray to you to touch me and to bless me. weep for it! 78 of 670 . But I cannot tell you at this time. These are not the hands she knew. and who my father. is. this is not a voice she ever heard. with her appealing hands upon his breast. weep for it! If you touch. too blooming. weep for it. here and now. ‘O. no. at another time you shall know my name. and how I never knew their hard. in touching my hair. weep for it. Kiss me. no. my gentle angel?’ Hailing his softened tone and manner. No. his daughter fell upon her knees before him. which warmed and lighted it as though it were the light of Freedom shining on him. no. hard history. All that I may tell you. ‘If you hear in my voice—I don’t know that it is so.A Tale of Two Cities ‘No. you are too young.

where I will be true to you with all my duty and with all my faithful service. O. and of my father who is living. that your agony is over. dearest dear. thank God! I feel his sacred tears upon my face. when I shall tell you of my name.A Tale of Two Cities If. and rocked him on her breast like a child. I bring back the remembrance of a Home long desolate. weep for it! And if. see! Thank God for us. and that I have come here to take you from it. ‘If. you learn that I have to kneel to my honoured father. I cause you to think of your useful life laid waste. then. while your poor heart pined away. thank God!’ He had sunk in her arms. because the love of my poor mother hid his torture from me. weep for it!’ She held him closer round the neck. weep for it. when I tell you. and of our native France so wicked to you. weep for it. and his face dropped on her breast: a sight so touching. weep for it! Weep for her. and implore his pardon for having never for his sake striven all day and lain awake and wept all night. and for me! Good gentlemen. and that we go to England to be at peace and at rest. when I hint to you of a Home that is before us. and of my mother who is dead. yet so terrible in the 79 of 670 . weep for it. and his sobs strike against my heart.

When the quiet of the garret had been long undisturbed. and her hair drooping over him curtained him from the light.’ she said. Monsieur Manette is. He had gradually dropped to the floor. ‘If. Lorry. and lay there in a lethargy.’ said Defarge. without disturbing him. ‘all could be arranged for our leaving Paris at once. of the rest and silence into which the storm called Life must hush at last—they came forward to raise the father and daughter from the ground. who was kneeling to look on and hear. so dreadful to him. She had nestled down with him. ‘More than that. after repeated blowings of his nose. from the. consider. so that. ‘More fit for that. Is he fit for the journey?’ asked Mr. for all 80 of 670 . than to remain in this city. he could be taken away—‘ ‘But. I think. raising her hand to Mr. that his head might lie upon her arm.A Tale of Two Cities tremendous wrong and suffering which had gone before it.’ ‘It is true. very door. worn out. and his heaving breast and shaken form had long yielded to the calm that must follow all storms— emblem to humanity. that the two beholders covered their faces. Lorry as he stooped over them.

’ urged Miss Manette. Lorry. 81 of 670 . resuming on the shortest notice his methodical manners. and hurrying away to do it. and then we will remove him straight. as quiet as you leave him. and in favour of one of them remaining. I do not doubt that you will find him. The darkness deepened and deepened. shall I hire a carriage and post-horses?’ ‘That’s business. ‘and if business is to be done. for the day was drawing to an end. Lorry and Defarge were rather disinclined to this course. I will take care of him until you return. but travelling papers. as there were not only carriage and horses to be seen to. Say. ‘as to leave us here. But.’ Both Mr.’ ‘Then be so kind. and you cannot be afraid to leave him with me now.A Tale of Two Cities reasons. I had better do it. You see how composed he has become. when you come back. as the darkness closed in.’ said Mr. it came at last to their hastily dividing the business that was necessary to be done. best out of France. the daughter laid her head down on the hard ground close at the father’s side. In any case. and as time pressed. Then. and watched him. Why should you be? If you will lock the door to secure us from interruption.

and he and Mr. whether he knew that he was free. lost manner of occasionally clasping his head in his hands. wine. until a light gleamed through the chinks in the wall. They tried speaking to him. Monsieur Defarge put this provender. whether he recollected what they had said to him.A Tale of Two Cities and they both lay quiet. on the shoemaker’s bench (there was nothing else in the garret but a pallet bed). were questions which no sagacity could have solved. and the lamp he carried. and invariably turned to it when she spoke. and so very slow to answer. he was so confused. yet. that they took fright at his bewilderment. In the submissive way of one long accustomed to obey under coercion. besides travelling cloaks and wrappers. he had some pleasure in the mere sound of his daughter’s voice. in the scared blank wonder of his face. but. and had brought with them. and agreed for the time to tamper with him no more. and assisted him to his feet. He had a wild. Whether he knew what had happened. he ate and drank what they gave him to 82 of 670 . Lorry roused the captive. that had not been seen in him before. Mr. and hot coffee. Lorry and Monsieur Defarge had made all ready for the journey. No human intelligence could have read the mysteries of his mind. bread and meat.

he murmured an answer as if she had repeated it. Monsieur Defarge going first with the lamp. before she could repeat the question. as being in expectation of a drawbridge. ‘One Hundred and Five. Lorry closing the little procession. and put on the cloak and other wrappings. It was so very long ago. ‘You remember the place. and when there was no drawbridge. and took—and kept—her hand in both his own. Mr.’ and when he looked about him. ‘Remember? No. They had not traversed many steps of the long main staircase when he stopped.A Tale of Two Cities eat and drink. I don’t remember. and stared at the roof and round at the wails. He readily responded to his daughter’s drawing her arm through his. my father? You remember coming up here?’ ‘What did you say?’ But. On their reaching the courtyard he instinctively altered his tread. was apparent to them. North Tower. They heard him mutter. and he 83 of 670 . it evidently was for the strong fortress-walls which had long encompassed him.’ That he had no recollection whatever of his having been brought from his prison to that house. that they gave him to wear. They began to descend.

not even a chance passerby was in the street. for his shoemaking tools and the unfinished shoes.—and immediately afterwards leaned against the door-post. illuminated coffee-houses. miserably. to one of the city gates. and gave the word ‘To the Barrier!’ The postilion cracked his whip. knitting. Defarge got upon the box. and saw nothing. and saw nothing. Under the over-swinging lamps—swinging ever brighter in the better streets. Only one soul was to be seen. when Mr. and went. gay crowds. Madame Defarge immediately called to her husband that she would get them. knitting. and theatre-doors. and that was Madame Defarge—who leaned against the doorpost. and his daughter had followed him. knitting. he dropped his daughter’s hand and clasped his head again. through the courtyard. no people were discernible at any of the many windows. Lorry’s feet were arrested on the step by his asking. She quickly brought them down and handed them in.A Tale of Two Cities saw the carriage waiting in the open street. No crowd was about the door. and they clattered away under the feeble over-swinging lamps. An unnatural silence and desertion reigned there. 84 of 670 . and ever dimmer in the worse—and by lighted shops. The prisoner had got into a coach. out of the lamplight.

‘Your papers. travellers!’ ‘See here then. All through the cold and restless interval. and one of them being handed into the coach by an arm in uniform. until dawn. under a short grove of feebler and feebler over-swinging lamps. getting down. with the white head. so remote from this little earth that the learned tell us it is doubtful whether their rays have even yet discovered it. with him. Forward!’ from the uniform. not an every day or an every night look. out under the great grove of stars. and wondering what subtle powers were for ever lost to him. Beneath that arch of unmoved and eternal lights. and what were capable of restoration—the old inquiry: ‘I hope you care to be recalled to life?’ 85 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities Soldiers with lanterns. at the—’ He dropped his voice. they once more whispered in the ears of Mr. ‘Adieu!’ from Defarge. ‘these are the papers of monsieur inside. some. at the guard-house there. Monsieur the Officer. Jarvis Lorry—sitting opposite the buried man who had been dug out. And so. as a point in space where anything is suffered or done: the shadows of the night were broad and black.’ said Defarge. the eyes connected with the arm looked. They were consigned to me. ‘It is well. there was a flutter among the military lanterns. at monsieur with the white head. and taking him gravely apart.

’ The end of the first book. 86 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities And the old answer: ‘I can’t say.

A Tale of Two Cities Book the Second-the Golden Thread 87 of 670 .

It was an old-fashioned place. but an active weapon which they flashed at more convenient places of business. proud of its ugliness. or Snooks Brothers’ might. Tellson’s wanted no light. it would be less respectable. They were even boastful of its eminence in those particulars. if it were less objectionable. very incommodious. Noakes and Co.A Tale of Two Cities I Five Years Later Tellson’s Bank by Temple Bar was an old-fashioned place. and were fired by an express conviction that. Tellson’s (they said) wanted no elbowroom. in the moral attribute that the partners in the House were proud of its smallness. but Tellson’s. thank Heaven!— Any one of these partners would have disinherited his son on the question of rebuilding Tellson’s. even in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty. In this respect the House was much on a par with the Country. very dark. proud of its darkness. very ugly.’s might. This was no passive belief. which did very often disinherit its sons for suggesting 88 of 670 . moreover. proud of its incommodiousness. Tellson’s wanted no embellishment. It was very small.

After bursting open a door of idiotic obstinacy with a weak rattle in its throat. until the House came with its hands in its pockets. which were always under a shower-bath of mud from Fleet-street. Your plate was stowed away among the neighbouring cesspools. where you meditated on a misspent life. Your money came out of. while they examined the signature by the dingiest of windows. where the oldest of men made your cheque shake as if the wind rustled it.’ you were put into a species of Condemned Hold at the back. particles of which flew up your nose and down your throat when they were opened and shut. but were only the more respectable. and you could hardly blink at it in the dismal twilight. or went into.A Tale of Two Cities improvements in laws and customs that had long been highly objectionable. as if they were fast decomposing into rags again. Your bank-notes had a musty odour. 89 of 670 . wormy old wooden drawers. that Tellson’s was the triumphant perfection of inconvenience. and evil communications corrupted its good polish in a day or two. If your business necessitated your seeing ‘the House. with two little counters. Thus it had come to pass. you fell into Tellson’s down two steps. and came to your senses in a miserable little shop. and the heavy shadow of Temple Bar. and which were made the dingier by their own iron bars proper.

the purloiner of forty shillings and sixpence was put to Death. were but newly released from the horror of being ogled through the windows. by the heads exposed on Temple Bar with an insensate brutality and ferocity worthy of Abyssinia or Ashantee. and where. and not least of all with Tellson’s. the sounders of three-fourths of the notes in the whole gamut of Crime. the utterer of a bad note was put to Death. the holder of a horse at Tellson’s door. even in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty. the forger was put to Death. the unlawful opener of a letter was put to Death. at that time. or by your little children. Your lighter boxes of family papers went up-stairs into a Barmecide room. and fretted all the fat out of their parchments into the banking-house air. the coiner of a bad shilling was put to Death. putting to death was a recipe much in vogue with all trades and professions. were put to Death. was put to Death. the first letters written to you by your old love. that always had a great dining-table in it and never had a dinner. Death is Nature’s remedy for all things. But indeed. Not that it did the least good in the way of prevention—it 90 of 670 . who made off with it. and why not Legislation’s? Accordingly.A Tale of Two Cities Your deeds got into extemporised strong-rooms made of kitchens and sculleries.

an occasional porter and messenger. and casting his breeches and gaiters into the general weight of the establishment. Tellson’s. They kept him in a dark place. spectacularly poring over large books. and left nothing else connected with it to be looked after. and then he was represented by his son: a grisly urchin of twelve. it cleared off (as to this world) the trouble of each particular case. Thus. they hid him somewhere till he was old. who was his express image. Outside Tellson’s—never by any means in it. who served as the live sign of the house. like greater places of business. People 91 of 670 . unless called in—was an odd-job-man. When they took a young man into Tellson’s London house. the oldest of men carried on the business gravely. until he had the full Tellson flavour and blue-mould upon him.A Tale of Two Cities might almost have been worth remarking that the fact was exactly the reverse—but. Cramped in all kinds of dun cupboards and hutches at Tellson’s. Then only was he permitted to be seen. like a cheese. its contemporaries. if the heads laid low before it had been ranged on Temple Bar instead of being privately disposed of. had taken so many lives. in a rather significant manner. that. unless upon an errand. He was never absent during business hours. in its day. they would probably have excluded what little light the ground floor had.

on the windy March morning. by a lady who had bestowed her name upon it. His surname was Cruncher.A Tale of Two Cities understood that Tellson’s. The scene was Mr. The house had always tolerated some person in that capacity. and time and tide had drifted this person to the post. and the lumbering deal table. a very clean white cloth was spread. he had received the added appellation of Jerry. half-past seven of the clock on a windy March morning. tolerated the odd-job-man. Cruncher’s apartments were not in a savoury neighbourhood. even if a closet with a single pane of glass in it might be counted as one. Cruncher himself always spoke of the year of our Lord as Anna Dominoes: apparently under the impression that the Christian era dated from the invention of a popular game. 92 of 670 . But they were very decently kept. Early as it was. (Mr. Whitefriars: the time.) Mr. Anno Domini seventeen hundred and eighty. and between the cups and saucers arranged for breakfast. and were but two in number. the room in which he lay abed was already scrubbed throughout. Cruncher’s private lodging in Hanging-sword-alley. in the easterly parish church of Hounsditch. in a stately way. and on the youthful occasion of his renouncing by proxy the works of darkness.

whereas he often came home after banking hours with clean boots. but.A Tale of Two Cities Mr. At which juncture. began to roll and surge in bed. with sufficient haste and trepidation to show that she was the person referred to. that. Cruncher’s domestic economy. ‘What!’ said Mr. ‘What.’ said Mr. until he rose above the surface. and may introduce the odd circumstance connected with Mr. with his spiky hair looking as if it must tear the sheets to ribbons. ‘You’re at it agin.’ 93 of 670 . Cruncher. by degrees. varying his apostrophe after missing his mark—‘what are you up to. are you?’ After hailing the mom with this second salutation. It was a very muddy boot. if she ain’t at it agin!’ A woman of orderly and industrious appearance rose from her knees in a corner. Cruncher. Cruncher reposed under a patchwork counterpane. At fast. looking out of bed for a boot. he threw a boot at the woman as a third. he slept heavily. he often got up next morning to find the same boots covered with clay. like a Harlequin at home. Aggerawayter?’ ‘I was only saying my prayers. he exclaimed. in a voice of dire exasperation: ‘Bust me.

going a praying agin your father’s prosperity. I won’t be prayed agin. my son. you conceited female.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Saying your prayers! You’re a nice woman! What do you mean by flopping yourself down and praying agin me?’ ‘I was not praying against you. Jerry. with unconscious inconsistency. then. turning to his mother. and. Whether or no. I was praying for you. you have.’ ‘Worth no more than that. Cruncher.’ said Mr. You’ve got a dutiful mother. You’ve got a religious mother.’ Master Cruncher (who was in his shirt) took this very ill. I tell you. young Jerry. They are worth no more than that. my boy: going and flopping herself down. Cruncher. ‘And what do you suppose. ‘They ain’t worth much. I can’t afford it. Here! your mother’s a nice woman. I’m not a going to be made unlucky by YOUR sneaking. If you must go 94 of 670 . strongly deprecated any praying away of his personal board. you have. I won’t be took the liberty with. And if you were. and praying that the bread-and-butter may be snatched out of the mouth of her only child.’ ‘You weren’t.’ repeated Mr. ‘that the worth of YOUR prayers may be? Name the price that you put YOUR prayers at!’ ‘They only come from the heart.

I’m as sleepy as laudanum.’ here he addressed his wife once more. If I had had any but a unnat’ral wife. and while I clean my boots keep a eye upon your mother now and then. and it’s my suspicion that you’ve been at it from morning to night to prevent me from being the better for it in pocket. ‘if I ain’t. and not in opposition to ‘em. Aggerawayter. who all this time had been putting on his clothes. yet I’m none the better for it in pocket. flop in favour of your husband and child. if it wasn’t for the pain in ‘em. and what do you say now!’ 95 of 670 . in this manner. I tell you. which was me and which somebody else. and I won’t put up with it. I might have made some money last week instead of being counter-prayed and countermined and religiously circumwented into the worst of luck. and this poor boy had had any but a unnat’ral mother. Cruncher. For. ‘I won’t be gone agin. and if you see any signs of more flopping. been choused this last week into as bad luck as ever a poor devil of a honest tradesman met with! Young Jerry. B-uu-ust me!’ said Mr. my boy. give me a call.A Tale of Two Cities flopping yourself down. dress yourself. my lines is strained to that degree that I shouldn’t know. I am as rickety as a hackney-coach. what with piety and one blowed thing and another.

by darting out of his sleeping closet. Crunches looking about. In the meantime. Cruncher betook himself to his boot-cleaning and his general preparation for business. mother. and whose young eyes stood close by one another. in addition. Cruncher’s saying grace with particular animosity. father!’ and. Mr. with a suppressed cry of ‘You are going to flop. would you? Not you!’ and throwing off other sarcastic sparks from the whirling grindstone of his indignation.A Tale of Two Cities Growling. ‘Now. Cruncher’s temper was not at all improved when he came to his breakfast. ‘I ain’t a going to be blest out of 96 of 670 . He greatly disturbed that poor woman at intervals. as if he rather expected to see the loaf disappear under the efficacy of his wife’s petitions. where he made his toilet. You wouldn’t put yourself in opposition to the interests of your husband and child. He resented Mrs. too. Mr. as his father’s did.’ ‘Don’t do it!’ said Mr. after raising this fictitious alarm. his son. Aggerawayter! What are you up to? At it again?’ His wife explained that she had merely ‘asked a blessing. darting in again with an undutiful grin. whose head was garnished with tenderer spikes. — Halloa. such phrases as ‘Ah! yes! You’re religious. kept the required watch upon his mother.

On this post of his. as the Bar itself. young Jerry. made out of a broken-backed chair cut down.’ His stock consisted of a wooden stool. presenting as respectable and business-like an exterior as he could overlay his natural self with. in good time to touch his three. Cruncher was as well known to Fleet-street and the Temple.A Tale of Two Cities house and home. Mr. issued forth to the occupation of the day. Keep still!’ Exceedingly red-eyed and grim. Towards nine o’clock he smoothed his ruffled aspect. as if he had been up all night at a party which had taken anything but a convivial turn. Encamped at a quarter before nine. walking at his father’s side. growling over it like any four-footed inmate of a menagerie. it formed the encampment for the day. with the addition of the first handful of straw that could be gleaned from any passing vehicle to keep the cold and wet from the odd-job-man’s feet. It could scarcely be called a trade. Jerry Cruncher worried his breakfast rather than ate it. I won’t have my wittles blest off my table. and.—and was almost as in-looking.cornered hat to the oldest of men as they 97 of 670 . in spite of his favourite description of himself as ‘a honest tradesman. carried every morning to beneath the banking-house window that was nearest Temple Bar: where. which stool.

The resemblance was not lessened by the accidental circumstance. extremely like each other. young Jerry seated himself on the stool. to inflict bodily and mental injuries of an acute description on passing boys who were small enough for his amiable purpose. and the word was given: ‘Porter wanted!’ ‘Hooray. looking silently on at the morning traffic in Fleet-street. Father and son. that the mature Jerry bit and spat out straw.A Tale of Two Cities passed in to Tellson’s. with their two heads as near to one another as the two eyes of each were. father! Here’s an early job to begin with!’ Having thus given his parent God speed. when not engaged in making forays through the Bar. entered on his reversionary interest in the straw his father had been chewing. and cogitated. Jerry took up his station on this windy March morning. bore a considerable resemblance to a pair of monkeys. The head of one of the regular indoor messengers attached to Tellson’s establishment was put through the door. while the twinkling eyes of the youthful Jerry were as restlessly watchful of him as of everything else in Fleet-street. with young Jerry standing by him. 98 of 670 .

‘Where does my father get all that iron rust from? He don’t get no iron rust here!’ 99 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities ‘Al-ways rusty! His fingers is al-ways rusty!’ muttered young Jerry.

’ ‘Into the court. well. Find the door where the witnesses go in. sir?’ ‘Into the court. no doubt?’ said one of the oldest of clerks to Jerry the messenger. sir. as a honest tradesman. not unlike a reluctant witness at the establishment in question. in something of a dogged manner.’ returned Jerry. sir?’ he asked. as the result of that conference.’ ‘Very well. Cruncher’s eyes seemed to get a little closer to one another. Lorry.’ said Jerry. wish to know the Bailey. Lorry.’ ‘I know Mr. And you know Mr.A Tale of Two Cities II A Sight ‘You know the Old Bailey.’ Mr. sir. 100 of 670 . and to interchange the inquiry. ‘I DO know the Bailey. ‘What do you think of this?’ ‘Am I to wait in the court. much better than I know the Bailey. and show the door-keeper this note for Mr.’ ‘Just so. He will then let you in. ‘Ye-es. ‘than I. Lorry. Much better.

and show him where you stand.’ 101 of 670 .’ ‘Not at all. He wishes to have a messenger at hand.’ As the ancient clerk deliberately folded and superscribed the note. remarked: ‘I suppose they’ll be trying Forgeries this morning?’ ‘Treason!’ ‘That’s quartering. after surveying him in silence until he came to the blotting-paper stage.’ remarked the ancient clerk. ‘Barbarous!’ ‘It is the law. Lorry’s attention. The door-keeper will pass the note to Mr.’ said Jerry. This is to tell him you are there. my good friend. ‘It is the law. and leave the law to take care of itself. I think. ‘Speak well of the law.’ ‘Is that all. Lorry. Then what you have to do.’ ‘It’s hard in the law to spile a man.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I am going to tell you. sir?’ ‘That’s all. I give you that advice. is. and do you make any gesture that will attract Mr. Ifs hard enough to kill him. but it’s wery hard to spile him. to remain there until he wants you. Mr. sir. turning his surprised spectacles upon him. Cruncher.’ retained the ancient clerk. Take care of your chest and voice.

on a violent passage into 102 of 670 .’ Jerry took the letter. in passing. ‘we aa have our various ways of gaining a livelihood. of his destination. sir.’ ‘WeB.’ said Jerry. and pulled him off the bench. Here is the letter. But. in which most kinds of debauchery and villainy were practised. For the rest. what settles on my chest and voice. that the Judge in the black cap pronounced his own doom as certainly as the prisoner’s.A Tale of Two Cities ‘It’s the damp. ‘You are a lean old one. They hanged at Tyburn. Some of us have damp ways. too. informed his son. and where dire diseases were bred.’ made his bow. in carts and coaches. and some of us have dry ways. in those days. the gaol was a vile place. and went his way. and even died before him. It had more than once happened. and sometimes rushed straight from the dock at my Lord Chief Justice himself. from which pale travellers set out continually. ‘I leave you to judge what a damp way of earning a living mine is.’ said the old clerk. remarking to himself with less internal deference than he made an outward show of. so the street outside Newgate had not obtained one infamous notoriety that has since attached to it. Go along. and. the Old Bailey was famous as a kind of deadly inn-yard. well. that came into court with the prisoners.

dispersed up and down this hideous scene of action. It was famous. Altogether. that nothing that ever was. also. too. for extensive transactions in blood-money. with the skill of a man accustomed to make his way quietly. and so desirable to be good use in the beginning. was wrong.A Tale of Two Cities the other world: traversing some two miles and a half of public street and road. and handed in his letter through a trap in it. very humanising and softening to behold in action. So powerful is use. also.’ an aphorism that would be as final as it is lazy. For. for the whipping-post. the Old Bailey. and shaming few good citizens. the messenger found out the door he sought. another dear old institution. just as they paid to see the play in Bedlam—only the former entertainment was much the dearer. a wise old institution. Making his way through the tainted crowd. people then paid to see the play at the Old Bailey. did it not include the troublesome consequence. if any. another fragment of ancestral wisdom. all the Old Bailey doors were well 103 of 670 . at that date. that ‘Whatever is is right. systematically leading to the most frightful mercenary crimes that could be committed under Heaven. was a choice illustration of the precept. Therefore. for the pillory. that inflicted a punishment of which no one could foresee the extent.

in a whisper. eh?’ ‘Ah!’ returned the man. with a relish. Mr. Lorry. ‘he’ll be drawn on a hurdle to be half hanged. ‘Nothing yet. After some delay and demur. Lorry sat at a table. and then he’ll be taken down and sliced before his own face. whom he saw making his way to Mr. Jerry Cruncher to squeeze himself into court. and allowed Mr. That’s the sentence. ‘Oh! they’ll find him guilty. of the man he found himself next to.’ ‘If he’s found Guilty. and he’ll be cut into quarters. the door grudgingly turned on its hinges a very little way. and those were always left wide open. by way of proviso. among 104 of 670 .’ ‘The quartering one.’ said the other. ‘What’s on?’ he asked.’ ‘What’s coming on?’ ‘The Treason case.A Tale of Two Cities guarded—except. Cruncher’s attention was here diverted to the door-keeper. ‘Don’t you be afraid of that. indeed.’ Mr. and then his head will be chopped off. the social doors by which the criminals got there. you mean to say?’ Jerry added. with the note in his hand. and then his inside will be taken out and burnt while he looks on.

‘Blest if I know. Cruncher looked at him then or afterwards. Jerry attracted the notice of Mr. Everybody present.’ said Jerry. or a wind. or 105 of 670 . who had stood up to look for him. the prisoner’s counsel.’ said Jerry. The entrance of the Judge. if a person may inquire?’ ‘Blest if I know that either. All the human breath in the place. then. and the prisoner was brought in. seemed to be concentrated on the ceiling of the court.A Tale of Two Cities the gentlemen in wigs: not far from a wigged gentleman. and put to the bar. Two gaolers. Lorry. Presently. like a sea. who had been standing there. whose whole attention. and who quietly nodded and sat down again. ‘What’s HE got to do with the case?’ asked the man he had spoken with. the dock became the central point of interest. except the one wigged gentleman who looked at the ceiling. After some gruff coughing and rubbing of his chin and signing with his hand. when Mr. ‘What have YOU got to do with it. stared at him. who had a great bundle of papers before him: and nearly opposite another wigged gentleman with his hands in his pockets. wont out. rolled at him. and a consequent great stir and settling down in the court. stopped the dialogue.

well-grown and welllooking. and what not. that flowed at him. The object of all this staring and blaring. got upon ledges. so the paleness which his situation engendered came through the brown upon his cheek. like an animated bit of the spiked wall of Newgate. He was plainly dressed in black. stood upon next to nothing. which was long and dark. His condition was that of a young gentleman. and coffee. with a sunburnt cheek and a dark eye. or very dark grey. to see every inch of him.A Tale of Two Cities a fire. not to miss a hair of him. at anybody’s cost. Eager faces strained round pillars and corners. laid their hands on the shoulders of the people before them. was a young man of about five-and-twenty. and gin. to a view of him— stood a-tiptoe. more to be out of his way than for ornament. and already broke upon the great windows behind him in an impure mist and rain. and tea. and his hair. Jerry stood: aiming at the prisoner the beery breath of a whet he had taken as he came along. Conspicuous among these latter. spectators in back rows stood up. and discharging it to mingle with the waves of other beer. As an emotion of the mind will express itself through any covering of the body. 106 of 670 . to help themselves. to get a sight of him. people on the floor of the court. was gathered in a ribbon at the back of his neck.

and so forth. at the root of it. The form that was to be doomed to be so shamefully mangled. Whatever gloss the various spectators put upon the interest. by reason of his having. the immortal creature that was to be so butchered and torn asunder. on divers occasions. in his wars against our said serene. bowed to the Judge. assisted Lewis. excellent. between the dominions of our said serene. illustrious. was the sight. the French King. Ogreish. The sort of interest with which this man was stared and breathed at. the interest was. was not a sort that elevated humanity. and stood quiet. yielded the sensation.A Tale of Two Cities showing the soul to be stronger than the sun. illustrious. that was to say. and so forth. and those of the 107 of 670 . excellent. illustrious. excellent. according to their several arts and powers of selfdeceit. and by divers means and ways. prince. Had he stood in peril of a less horrible sentence—had there been a chance of any one of its savage details being spared—by just so much would he have lost in his fascination. by coming and going. He was otherwise quite self-possessed. and so forth. our Lord the King. Silence in the court! Charles Darnay had yesterday pleaded Not Guilty to an indictment denouncing him (with infinite jingle and jangle) for that he was a false traitor to our serene.

that they had not displaced a leaf of the herbs with which it was strewn. who was (and who knew he was) being mentally hanged. The accused. made out with huge satisfaction. revealing to the said French Lewis what forces our said serene. watched the opening proceedings with a grave interest. Crowds of the wicked and the wretched had been reflected in it. had in preparation to send to Canada and North America. that the jury were swearing in. He was quiet and attentive. and had passed from its 108 of 670 . by everybody there. stood there before him upon his trial. excellent. nor assumed any theatrical air in it. and quartered. illustrious. The court was all bestrewn with herbs and sprinkled with vinegar. with his head becoming more and more spiky as the law terms bristled it. falsely. so composedly. and over and over again aforesaid. Charles Darnay. as a precaution against gaol air and gaol fever. Jerry. to throw the light down upon him. traitorously.A Tale of Two Cities said French Lewis. and wickedly. and stood with his hands resting on the slab of wood before him. and that Mr. and otherwise evil-adverbiously. Over the prisoner’s head there was a mirror. beheaded. neither flinched from the situation. Attorney-General was making ready to speak. and so forth. This much. and so arrived circuitously at the understanding that the aforesaid.

that all the eyes that were tamed upon him. Haunted in a most ghastly manner that abominable place would have been. and his right hand pushed the herbs away. he looked up. in that corner of the Judge’s bench. a man of a very remarkable appearance in respect of the absolute whiteness of his hair. a young lady of little more than twenty. as the ocean is one day to give up its dead. Some passing thought of the infamy and disgrace for which it had been reserved. About on a level with his eyes. turned to them. Be that as it may. and when he saw the glass his face flushed. there sat. When this expression was upon him. The spectators saw in the two figures. may have struck the prisoner’s mind. and a certain indescribable intensity of face: not of an active kind. a change in his position making him conscious of a bar of light across his face. that the action turned his face to that side of the court which was on his left. It happened. so immediately. and a gentleman who was evidently her father.A Tale of Two Cities surface and this earth’s together. but pondering and self-communing. 109 of 670 . two persons upon whom his look immediately rested. and so much to the changing of his aspect. if the glass could ever have rendered back its reflections. he looked as if he were old.

and who had been sucking the rust off his fingers in his absorption. in her dread of the scene.’ 110 of 670 . in a moment. and from him it had been more slowly pressed and passed back. so very powerfully and naturally shown. the messenger. His daughter had one of her hands drawn through his arm. The crowd about him had pressed and passed the inquiry on to the nearest attendant. on his speaking to his daughter—he became a handsome man. She had drawn close to him.A Tale of Two Cities but when it was stirred and broken up—as it was now. that starers who had had no pity for him were touched by her. not past the prime of life.’ ‘For which side?’ ‘Against. who had made his own observations.’ ‘Against what side?’ ‘The prisoner’s. in his own manner. at last it got to Jerry: ‘Witnesses. stretched his neck to hear who they were. Her forehead had been strikingly expressive of an engrossing terror and compassion that saw nothing but the peril of the accused. This had been so very noticeable. and the whisper went about. and the other pressed upon it. as she sat by him. and in her pity for the prisoner. ‘Who are they?’ Jerry.

grind the axe. and looked steadily at the man whose life was in his hand. recalled them. leaned back in his seat. whose eyes had gone in the general direction. 111 of 670 . Attorney-General rose to spin the rope. as Mr.A Tale of Two Cities The Judge. and hammer the nails into the scaffold.

it was certain the prisoner had. the real wickedness and guilt of his business might have remained undiscovered. and. had put it into the heart of a person who was beyond fear and beyond reproach. sublime. That. Attorney-General had to inform the jury. or of the year before.A Tale of Two Cities III A Disappointment Mr. That. this patriot would be produced before them. was old in the treasonable practices which claimed the forfeit of his life. That. on secret business of which he could give no honest account. however. That. for longer than that. at once in an auspicious 112 of 670 . been in the habit of passing and repassing between France and England. his position and attitude were. or of yesterday. to ferret out the nature of the prisoner’s schemes. though young in years. That Providence. or even of last year. but. That. he had been the prisoner’s friend. to disclose them to his Majesty’s Chief Secretary of State and most honourable Privy Council. that the prisoner before them. on the whole. That this correspondence with the public enemy was not a correspondence of to-day. struck with horror. if it were in the nature of traitorous ways to thrive (which happily it never was).

he probably would not have one. was in a manner contagious. word for word. had communicated itself to the prisoner’s servant. That. Attorney-General’s) father and 113 of 670 . more especially the bright virtue known as patriotism. That. and secrete his papers. as in ancient Greece and Rome. as had been observed by the poets (in many passages which he well knew the jury would have. he preferred him to his (Mr. at the tips of their tongues.A Tale of Two Cities and an evil hour detecting his infamy. or love of country. Attorney-General) was prepared to hear some disparagement attempted of this admirable servant. if statues were decreed in Britain. to refer to whom however unworthily was an honour. That. in a general way. whereat the jury’s countenances displayed a guilty consciousness that they knew nothing about the passages). That. he (Mr. this shining citizen would assuredly have had one. and honoured him more than his (Mr. Attorney-General’s) brothers and sisters. and had engendered in him a holy determination to examine his master’s table-drawers and pockets. the lofty example of this immaculate and unimpeachable witness for the Crown. That. but that. as they were not so decreed. to public benefactors. had resolved to immolate the traitor he could no longer cherish in his bosom. on the sacred altar of his country. Virtue.

That. for these reasons. That. that. That. the proof would go back five years. but that it was all the same. and would leave no doubt that he had habitually conveyed such information to a hostile power. the evidence of these two witnesses. and would show the prisoner already engaged in these pernicious missions. it was rather the better for the prosecution. and of their disposition and preparation. they never could endure the notion of their children laying their heads upon their 114 of 670 . within a few weeks before the date of the very first action fought between the British troops and the Americans. that. that. these lists could not be proved to be in the prisoner’s handwriting. would show the prisoner to have been furnished with lists of his Majesty’s forces. they never could tolerate the idea of their wives laying their heads upon their pillows. both by sea and land. whether they liked it or not. they never could lay their heads upon their pillows. must positively find the prisoner Guilty. That. That. That. and make an end of him. he called with confidence on the jury to come and do likewise. being a loyal jury (as he knew they were). the jury.A Tale of Two Cities mother. as showing the prisoner to be artful in his precautions. and being a responsible jury (as THEY knew they were). coupled with the documents of their discovering that would be produced. indeed.

Lorry. sitting not far from Mr. AttorneyGeneral concluded by demanding of them. the unimpeachable patriot appeared in the witness-box. and on the faith of his solemn asseveration that he already considered the prisoner as good as dead and gone. That head Mr. for them or theirs. he scorned the base insinuation.A Tale of Two Cities pillows. gentleman. Having released his noble bosom of its burden. if it had a fault. unless the prisoner’s head was taken off. examined the patriot: John Barsad. a buzz arose in the court as if a cloud of great blue-flies were swarming about the prisoner. Had he ever been a spy himself? No. following his leader’s lead. a little too exactly. in short. AttorneyGeneral had described it to be— perhaps. in the name of everything he could think of with a round turn in it. The wigged gentleman sitting opposite. but that the wigged gentleman with the papers before him. The story of his pure soul was exactly what Mr. Solicitor-General then. Mr. in anticipation of what he was soon to become. any laying of heads upon pillows at all. by name. 115 of 670 . When toned down again. When the Attorney-General ceased. begged to ask him a few questions. still looking at the ceiling of the court. that there never more could be. he would have modestly withdrawn himself. What did he live upon? His property.

Had not procured them himself. Not five or six? Perhaps. Ever borrow money of the prisoner? Yes. What was it? No business of anybody’s. in reality a very slight one. and fell downstairs of his own accord. Ever kicked downstairs? Decidedly not. Ever pay him? No. Never? Yes. Was not this intimacy with the prisoner. Never in a debtors’ prison? Didn’t see what that had to do with it. Never in a debtors’ prison?— Come. once received a kick on the top of a staircase. Very distant? Rather. Ever been in prison? Certainly not. From whom? Distant relation. Knew no more about the lists? No. Ever live by play? Not more than other gentlemen do. inns. How many times? Two or three times. to 116 of 670 . forced upon the prisoner in coaches. Sure he saw the prisoner with these lists? Certain. Ever live by cheating at play? Never. and packets? No. Ever been kicked? Might have been. once again. Of what profession? Gentleman. Had he inherited it? Yes. Frequently? No.A Tale of Two Cities Where was his property? He didn’t precisely remember where it was. Expect to get anything by this evidence? No. Swear it was not true? Positively. Not in regular government pay and employment. he had. but it was not true. Kicked on that occasion for cheating at dice? Something to that effect was said by the intoxicated liar who committed the assault. for instance? No.

both at Calais and Boulogne. He had not put them there first. swore his way through the case at a great rate. He had never been suspected of stealing a silver tea-pot. He had asked the prisoner. he had seen similar lists to these in the prisoner’s pockets. He loved his country. and had given information. he had been maligned respecting a mustard-pot. aboard the Calais packet. and similar lists to French gentlemen. The virtuous servant. He had taken service with the prisoner.A Tale of Two Cities lay traps? Oh dear no. Swear that? Over and over again. He had taken these lists from the drawer of the prisoner’s desk. In arranging his clothes. if he wanted a handy fellow. He began to have suspicions of the prisoner. Roger Cly. He had not asked the prisoner to take the handy fellow as an act of charity—never thought of such a thing. Or to do anything? Oh dear no. while travelling. four years ago. and to keep an eye upon him. soon afterwards. over and over again. He didn’t call it a particularly 117 of 670 . He had seen the prisoner show these identical lists to French gentlemen at Calais. He had known the last witness seven or eight years. but it turned out to be only a plated one. and the prisoner had engaged him. No motives but motives of sheer patriotism? None whatever. that was merely a coincidence. and couldn’t bear it. in good faith and simplicity.

Was he one of those two passengers?’ ‘I cannot undertake to say that he was. most coincidences were curious.’ ‘Mr. that I cannot undertake to say even that. Jarvis Lorry.’ ‘On a certain Friday night in November one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five. are you a clerk in Tellson’s bank?’ ‘I am. and the night was so dark. Attorney-General called Mr. did business occasion you to travel between London and Dover by the mail?’ ‘It did.’ ‘Did they alight on the road in the course of the night?’ ‘They did. The blue-flies buzzed again. Neither did he call it a curious coincidence that true patriotism was HIS only motive too.’ 118 of 670 .’ ‘Were there any other passengers in the mail?’ ‘Two. He was a true Briton. and Mr. ‘Mr.A Tale of Two Cities curious coincidence. Lorry. and hoped there were many like him. Jarvis Lorry. look upon the prisoner. and we were all so reserved.’ ‘Does he resemble either of these two passengers?’ ‘Both were so wrapped up.

Have you seen him.’ ‘Did you ever see a counterfeit of timidity. and. before?’ ‘I have. Except that I remember them both to have been—like myself— timorous of highwaymen. and the prisoner has not a timorous air. Lorry.’ 119 of 670 . the prisoner came on board the packet-ship in which I returned. Lorry?’ ‘I certainly have seen that. that he was not one of them?’ ‘No. is there anything in his bulk and stature to render it unlikely that he was one of them?’ ‘No. and made the voyage with me. Mr. Mr. look again upon the prisoner. look once more upon the prisoner. at Calais.’ ‘When?’ ‘I was returning from France a few days afterwards. Lorry. to your certain knowledge. Supposing him wrapped up as those two passengers were.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Mr.’ ‘So at least you say he may have been one of them?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Mr.’ ‘At what hour did he come on board?’ ‘At a little after midnight. Lorry.’ ‘You will not swear.

‘Miss Manette. He was the only passenger who came on board in the dead of the night?’ ‘He was. and were now turned again. The weather was stormy.’ ‘Were you travelling alone. and kept her hand drawn through his arm.’ ‘They are here.’ To be confronted with such pity. was far more trying to the accused than 120 of 670 . Her father rose with her. stood up where she had sat. Had you any conversation with the prisoner?’ ‘Hardly any. They are here. or with any companion?’ ‘With two companions. Lorry. Mr. and the passage long and rough.’ ‘Miss Manette!’ The young lady. almost from shore to shore. Lorry. A gentleman and lady. and I lay on a sofa. Was he the only passenger who came on board at that untimely hour?’ ‘He happened to be the only one.A Tale of Two Cities ‘In the dead of the night. to whom all eyes had been turned before. and such earnest youth and beauty. look upon the prisoner.’ ‘Never mind about ‘happening.’ Mr.

have you seen the prisoner before?’ ‘Yes. His hurried right hand parcelled out the herbs before him into imaginary beds of flowers in a garden.’ ‘Where?’ ‘On board of the packet-ship just now referred to. ‘Miss Manette. as he said something fiercely: ‘Answer the questions put to you.’ ‘You are the young lady just now referred to?’ ‘O! most unhappily. and on the same occasion.A Tale of Two Cities to be confronted with all the crowd. The buzz of the great flies was loud again. as it were.’ ‘Recall it. could. sir. had you any conversation with the prisoner on that passage across the Channel?’ ‘Yes. sir. Standing. sir.’ ‘Miss Manette. apart with her on the edge of his grave. nerve him to remain quite still.’ 121 of 670 . and make no remark upon them. not all the staring curiosity that looked on. and his efforts to control and steady his breathing shook the lips from which the colour rushed to his heart. I am!’ The plaintive tone of her compassion merged into the less musical voice of the Judge. for the moment.

’ ‘When the prisoner came on board. not understanding how the wind would set when we were out of the harbour. Had he come on board alone?’ ‘No. but we four. he noticed that my father. He expressed great gentleness and kindness for my father’s state. He did it for me.’ ‘Then say the prisoner. and I sat on the deck at his side to take care of him.’ turning her eyes lovingly to him as he stood beside her. ‘was much fatigued and in a very weak state of health. better than I had done. knitting his brows. The prisoner was so good as to beg permission to advise me how I could shelter my father from the wind and weather.’ 122 of 670 . and I had made a bed for him on the deck near the cabin steps.A Tale of Two Cities In the midst of a profound stillness. My father was so reduced that I was afraid to take him out of the air. That was the manner of our beginning to speak together. she faintly began: ‘When the gentleman came on board—‘ ‘Do you mean the prisoner?’ inquired the Judge. ‘Yes.’ ‘Let me interrupt you for a moment. There were no other passengers that night. my Lord. I had not known how to do it well. and I am sure he felt it.

A Tale of Two Cities ‘How many were with him?’ ‘Two French gentlemen.’ ‘Had any papers been handed about among them. and I did not hear what they said. and useful to my father.’ ‘The prisoner was as open in his confidence with me— which arose out of my helpless situation—as he was kind. to the prisoner’s conversation. and saw only that they looked at papers. when it was necessary for the French gentlemen to be landed in their boat. ‘I may not repay him by doing him harm to-day.’ Buzzing from the blue-flies. and good.’ ‘Now. and they spoke very low. Miss Manette. although they stood whispering very near to me: because they stood at the top of the cabin steps to have the light of the lamp that was hanging there.’ bursting into tears. but indeed I don’t know.’ ‘Like these in shape and size?’ ‘Possibly. it was a dull lamp. but I don’t know what papers. 123 of 670 . I hope.’ ‘Had they conferred together?’ ‘They had conferred together until the last moment. similar to these lists?’ ‘Some papers had been handed about among them.

will be unconsciously imitated by the 124 of 670 . within a few days. and might.’ ‘Did he say anything about America. in a jesting way. He said that this business had.’ Any strongly marked expression of face on the part of a chief actor in a scene of great interest to whom many eyes are directed. and he said that. he is the only person present in that condition.’ ‘He told me that he was travelling on business of a delicate and difficult nature. and that he was therefore travelling under an assumed name. so far as he could judge. take him backwards and forwards between France and England for a long time to come.’ ‘He tried to explain to me how that quarrel had arisen. taken him to France. and to beguile the time. He added. But there was no harm in his way of saying this: it was said laughingly. it was a wrong and foolish one on England’s part. which might get people into trouble.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Miss Manette. that perhaps George Washington might gain almost as great a name in history as George the Third. if the prisoner does not perfectly understand that you give the evidence which it is your duty to give—which you must give— and which you cannot escape from giving—with great unwillingness. Miss Manette? Be particular. Please to go on. at intervals.

Her forehead was painfully anxious and intent as she gave this evidence. Have you ever seen him before?’ ‘Once. in a low voice. Some three years. might have been mirrors reflecting the witness. Who was called accordingly. Doctor Manette. When he caged at my lodgings in London. or speak to his conversation with your daughter?’ ‘Sir. ‘Doctor Manette. in the pauses when she stopped for the Judge to write it down. that a great majority of the foreheads there. or three years and a half ago. ‘There is. look upon the prisoner. to call the young lady’s father. that he deemed it necessary. insomuch.’ ‘Is there any particular and special reason for your being unable to do either?’ He answered.A Tale of Two Cities spectators. as a matter of precaution and form. Mr. Among the lookers-on there was the same expression in all quarters of the court.’ ‘Can you identify him as your fellow-passenger on board the packet.’ 125 of 670 . when the Judge looked up from his notes to glare at that tremendous heresy about George Washington. I can do neither. and. watched its effect upon the counsel for and against. Attorney-General now signified to my Lord.

in making shoes. ‘A long imprisonment. and the father and daughter sat down together. from some time—I cannot even say what time— when I employed myself. She had become familiar to me.’ Mr. to the time when I found myself living in London with my dear daughter here.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Has it been your misfortune to undergo a long imprisonment. as a blind. but from which he travelled 126 of 670 . My mind is a blank.’ ‘Have you no remembrance of the occasion?’ ‘None. or even accusation. I have no remembrance of the process. Attorney-General sat down. in your native country. Doctor Manette?’ He answered. in a tone that went to every heart. at a place where he did not remain. The object in hand being to show that the prisoner went down. but. I am quite unable even to say how she had become familiar. in my captivity. and got out of the mail in the night. with some fellow-plotter untracked.’ ‘Were you newly released on the occasion in question?’ ‘They tell me so. in the Dover mail on that Friday night in November five years ago. when a gracious God restored my faculties. without trial. A singular circumstance then arose in the case.

waiting for another person. screwed it up.’ pointing to him who had tossed the paper over. the counsel looked with great attention and curiosity at the prisoner. ‘Did you ever see anybody very like the prisoner?’ Not so like (the witness said) as that he could be mistaken. and tossed it to him. in the coffee-room of an hotel in that garrisonand-dockyard town. when the wigged gentleman who had all this time been looking at the ceiling of the court. Opening this piece of paper in the next pause. ‘Look well upon that gentleman. my learned friend there. a witness was called to identify him as having been at the precise time required. except that he had never seen the prisoner on any other occasion. The prisoner’s counsel was cross-examining this witness with no result. ‘and then look well upon the prisoner. ‘You say again you are quite sure that it was the prisoner?’ The witness was quite sure. How say you? Are they very like each other?’ 127 of 670 . to a garrison and dockyard.A Tale of Two Cities back some dozen miles or more. wrote a word or two on a little piece of paper. and there collected information.

no.A Tale of Two Cities Allowing for my learned friend’s appearance being careless and slovenly if not debauched. showing them how the patriot. Mr. and more. and one of the greatest scoundrels upon earth since accursed Judas—which he 128 of 670 . was a hired spy and traitor. My Lord being prayed to bid my learned friend lay aside his wig. but everybody present. Carton (name of my learned friend) for treason? But. Cruncher had by this time taken quite a lunch of rust off his fingers in his following of the evidence. the likeness became much more remarkable. when they were thus brought into comparison. they were sufficiently like each other to surprise. whether they were next to try Mr. an unblushing trafficker in blood. Stryver (the prisoner’s counsel). but he would ask the witness to tell him whether what happened once. He had now to attend while Mr. like a compact suit of clothes. and shiver his part of the case to useless lumber. Stryver fitted the prisoner’s case on the jury. having seen it. whether he would have been so confident if he had seen this illustration of his rashness sooner. was. might happen twice. to smash this witness like a crockery vessel. Stryver replied to my Lord. Barsad. The upshot of which. not only the witness. whether he would be so confident. My Lord inquired of Mr. and giving no very gracious consent. Mr.

save that vile and infamous character of evidence too often disfiguring such cases. How it would be a weakness in the government to break down in this attempt to practise for popularity on the lowest national antipathies and fears. How the virtuous servant. and of which the State Trials of this country were full. how. a consideration for others who were near and dear to him. which was altogether too extravagant and impossible to be regarded in any other light than as a monstrous joke. and therefore Mr.—with the exception of that reference to George Washington. there my Lord interposed (with as grave a 129 of 670 . whose anguish in giving it they had witnessed. because some family affairs in France. nevertheless. and was worthy to be. But. came to nothing. it rested upon nothing. how the watchful eyes of those forgers and false swearers had rested on the prisoner as a victim. was his friend and partner. forbade him. did require his making those passages across the Channel— though what those affairs were. Cly. Attorney-General had made the most of it. How the evidence that had been warped and wrested from the young lady. he being of French extraction.A Tale of Two Cities certainly did look rather like. even for his life. to disclose. involving the mere little innocent gallantries and politenesses likely to pass between any young gentleman and young lady so thrown together.

Mr. Carton. changed neither his place nor his attitude. Mr. Cruncher had next to attend while Mr. turning the suit of clothes. Stryver had fitted on the jury. and Mr. while even my Lord himself arose from his seat. Mr. but on the whole decidedly trimming and shaping them into grave-clothes for the prisoner. came my Lord himself. Stryver then called his few witnesses. now outside in. inside out. while all the spectators moved more or less. And now. not unattended by a suspicion in the minds of the audience that his state was feverish. who had so long sat looking at the ceiling of the court. with his torn gown half off him. and from time to time glanced anxiously at the jury. this one man sat leaning back. and the great flies swarmed again. saying that he could not sit upon that Bench and suffer those allusions. whispered with those who sat near. massing his papers before him. even in this excitement. Lastly. the jury turned to consider. his 130 of 670 . showing how Barsad and Cly were even a hundred times better than he had thought them. Stryver. While his teamed friend. now inside out. and slowly paced up and down his platform. and grouped themselves anew. and the prisoner a hundred times worse. Attorney-General turned the whole suit of clothes Mr.A Tale of Two Cities face as if it had not been true).

not only gave him a disreputable look. said to one another they would hardly have thought the two were so alike. Mr. ‘I’d hold half a guinea that HE don’t get no law-work to do. when Miss Manette’s head dropped upon her father’s breast. Don’t look like the sort of one to get any. and that pondering or 131 of 670 . his hands in his pockets. Cruncher made the observation to his next neighbour. It had evidently been a great distress to him. taking note of him now. this Mr. He had shown strong internal agitation when he was questioned. and his eyes on the ceiling as they had been all day. Don’t you see she will fall!’ There was much commiseration for her as she was removed. do he?’ Yet. for now. that many of the lookers-on. to have the days of his imprisonment recalled. but so diminished the strong resemblance he undoubtedly bore to the prisoner (which his momentary earnestness.A Tale of Two Cities untidy wig put on just as it had happened to fight on his head after its removal. he was the first to see it. and much sympathy with her father. and to say audibly: ‘Officer! look to that young lady. Help the gentleman to take her out. Carton took in more of the details of the scene than he appeared to take in. had strengthened). and added. when they were compared together. Something especially reckless in his demeanour.

But. keep in the way. in the slackened interest. and wished to retire. and will get to Temple Bar long before I can. ‘Jerry. spoke. As he passed out. You will be sure to hear when the jury come in. but signified his pleasure that they should retire under watch and ward. and beckoned to Jerry: who. and sat down. You are the quickest messenger I know. Lorry. and retired himself. It began to be rumoured that the jury would be out a long while. for I want you to take the verdict back to the bank. Don’t be a moment behind them. They were not agreed. like a heavy cloud. The spectators dropped off to get refreshment. the jury. Mr. now reappeared. had been upon him.A Tale of Two Cities brooding look which made him old. if you wish to take something to eat. could easily get near him. who had turned back and paused a moment. ever since. and the prisoner withdrew to the back of the dock. who had gone out when the young lady and her father went out. My Lord (perhaps with George Washington on his mind) showed some surprise that they were not agreed. through their foreman. you can. and the lamps in the court were now being lighted. The trial had lasted all day.’ 132 of 670 .

and Jerry followed him. Carton made his way to the outside of the bar. and she feels the better for being out of court. Miss Manette. with my fervent acknowledgments?’ ‘Yes. and spikes. It won’t do for a respectable bank gentleman like you.’ Mr. ears. You have seen the worst of her agitation. ‘Mr. Mr.’ ‘I’ll tell the prisoner so.’ 133 of 670 . ‘You will naturally be anxious to hear of the witness. and touched Mr. all eyes. Could you tell her so for me. I will. you know.’ ‘I am deeply sorry to have been the cause of it. She will do very well. Lorry reddened as if he were conscious of having debated the point in his mind. and Mr. ‘How is the young lady?’ ‘She is greatly distressed. Darnay!’ The prisoner came forward directly. Lorry on the arm. The way out of court lay in that direction. and he knuckled it in acknowedgment of this communication and a shilling. if you ask it. I could. Carton came up at the moment. to be seen speaking to him publicly.A Tale of Two Cities Jerry had just enough forehead to knuckle. but her father is comforting her.

Carton’s manner was so careless as to be almost insolent. Jerry heard no more: but left them—so like each other in feature. Mr. ‘do you expect. even though assisted off with mutton pies and ale. sir!’ 134 of 670 .’ ‘It’s the wisest thing to expect. so unlike each other in manner—standing side by side. both reflected in the glass above them. But I think their withdrawing is in your favour. He stood. Here I am. ‘Jerry! Jerry!’ Mr. An hour and a half limped heavily away in the thiefand-rascal crowded passages below. Lorry was already calling at the door when he got there. The hoarse messenger.’ said Carton. and the likeliest.A Tale of Two Cities Mr. sir! It’s a fight to get back again. ‘Here. had dropped into a doze.’ ‘What. carried him along with them. still only half turned towards him. Darnay?’ ‘The worst. lounging with his elbow against the bar.’ Loitering on the way out of court not being allowed. uncomfortably seated on a form after taking that refection. half turned from the prisoner. when a loud murmur and a rapid tide of people setting up the stairs that led to the court. ‘I do ask it. Accept my cordial thanks.

’ ‘If you had sent the message. anything else. as he turned. until he was clear of the Old Bailey. the crowd came pouring out with a vehemence that nearly took him off his legs. this time. ‘Recalled to Life. and a loud buzz swept into the street as if the baffled blue-flies were dispersing in search of other carrion.’ again. ‘Quick! Have you got it?’ ‘Yes.A Tale of Two Cities Mr. 135 of 670 . ‘I should have known what you meant.’ Hastily written on the paper was the word ‘AQUITTED. Lorry handed him a paper through the throng.’ muttered Jerry. or so much as thinking.’ He had no opportunity of saying. sir. for.

stood gathered round Mr. without looking again: even though the opportunity of observation had not extended to the mournful cadence of his low grave voice. the last sediment of the human stew that had been boiling there all day. Lorry. would always—as on the trial—evoke this condition from the depths of his soul. when Doctor Manette. intellectual of face and upright of bearing. While one external cause. and to the abstraction that overclouded him fitfully. his daughter. was straining off. and its counsel. Charles Darnay—just released—congratulating him on his escape from death. the shoemaker of the garret in Paris. It would have been difficult by a far brighter light. no one could have looked at him twice. without any apparent reason. as incomprehensible to those unacquainted with his story as if they had seen the 136 of 670 . and to draw a gloom over him. Yet. Mr. Lucie Manette.A Tale of Two Cities IV Congratulatory From the dimly-lighted passages of the court. Mr. the solicitor for the defence. Stryver. it was also in its nature to arise of itself. to recognise in Doctor Manette. and that a reference to his long lingering agony.

and she believed them over. when the substance was three hundred miles away. Lorry clean out of the group: ‘I am glad to have brought you off with honour. Only his daughter had the power of charming this black brooding from his mind. red. He still had his wig and gown on. for she could recall some occasions on which her power had failed. It was an 137 of 670 . but looking twenty years older than he was.A Tale of Two Cities shadow of the actual Bastille thrown upon him by a summer sun. whom he warmly thanked. and he said. Not absolutely always. the light of her face. She was the golden thread that united him to a Past beyond his misery. the touch of her hand. loud. Stryver. Mr. Darnay. squaring himself at his late client to that degree that he squeezed the innocent Mr. had a pushing way of shouldering himself (morally and physically) into companies and conversations. Mr. but they were few and slight. Mr. Stryver. and to a Present beyond his misery: and the sound of her voice. stout. Darnay had kissed her hand fervently and gratefully. bluff. that argued well for his shouldering his way up in life. and free from any drawback of delicacy. had a strong beneficial influence with him almost always. a man of little more than thirty. and had turned to Mr.

Miss Lucie looks ill. do you not 138 of 670 .’ said Stryver. Lorry. and you ought to know. Darnay. but with the interested object of squeezing himself back again. Lorry. and for Miss Lucie. too. grossly infamous.’ answered Mr. and—Miss Lucie. ‘I have done my best for you.’ ‘I speak for myself. and my best is as good as another man’s. Mr. Darnay. perhaps not quite disinterestedly. but not the less likely to succeed on that account. Lorry said it. Mr. You are a man of business.’ quoth Mr. Mr.’ ‘You have laid me under an obligation to you for life— in two senses. Lorry. Speak for yourself. ‘You think so?’ said Mr. just as he had previously shouldered him out of it—‘as such I will appeal to Doctor Manette. ‘Well! you have been present all day.’ Mr.’ said his late client.’ It clearly being incumbent on some one to say. ‘and for Mr.’ ‘And as such. ‘I have a night’s work to do yet. I believe. Darnay has had a terrible day. Stryver.A Tale of Two Cities infamous prosecution. whom the counsel learned in the law had now shouldered back into the group.’ ‘Speak for yourself. taking his hand. to break up this conference and order us all to our homes. ‘Much better. we are worn out.

‘My father. Walking between her father and Mr. he answered ‘Yes. pillory. who had not joined the group. my father?’ With a long breath. not even unmixed with fear. to shoulder his way back to the robing-room. A hackney-coach was called. softly laying her hand on his.’ said Lucie. Mr. whipping-post. and turned to her. Another person. or interchanged a word with 139 of 670 . and branding-iron. the iron gates were being closed with a jar and a rattle. in a very curious look at Darnay: an intent look.’ The friends of the acquitted prisoner had dispersed. deepening into a frown of dislike and distrust. and with a glance at her father. With this strange expression on him his thoughts had wandered away. under the impression—which he himself had originated— that he would not be released that night. Lucie Manette passed into the open air. Stryver had left them in the passages. as it were. He slowly shook the shadow off.A Tale of Two Cities think I may speak for us all?’ He asked her the question pointedly. and the father and daughter departed in it. His face had become frozen. Darnay. ‘Shall we go home. should repeople it. and the dismal place was deserted until to-morrow morning’s interest of gallows. The lights were nearly all extinguished in the passages.

sir. but who had been leaning against the wall where its shadow was darkest. We have to think of the House more than ourselves. ‘If you knew what a conflict goes on in the business mind.’ Mr.’ rejoined Mr. Lorry. ‘You have mentioned that before. Carton. Lorry! Men of business may speak to Mr. Darnay. Lorry and Mr. ‘I really don’t know what you have to do with the matter.’ ‘I know. are not our own masters. carelessly. and said. ‘Don’t be nettled. warmly. had silently strolled out after the rest. Mr. and had looked on until the coach drove away.A Tale of Two Cities any one of them. I dare say. Carton’s part in the day’s proceedings. and was none the better for it in appearance. nobody had known of it. He now stepped up to where Mr. I have no doubt: better. I know. ‘So. Mr. Darnay now?’ Nobody had made any acknowledgment of Mr. Darnay stood upon the pavement. who serve a House. Lorry reddened. Mr. He was unrobed. We men of business. 140 of 670 .’ ‘And indeed. you would be amused.’ pursued Mr. You are as good as another. not minding him. when the business mind is divided between goodnatured impulse and business appearances. sir. Lorry.

Darnay as a young gentleman of generosity knows how to make allowance for that circumstance. for saying so. And. as well as with the barrister.’ ‘If you had. and turned to Darnay: 141 of 670 . Lorry. and did not appear to be quite sober. too. ‘Well. Carton. and was carried off to Tellson’s. I have no business. ‘business is a very good thing.’ said Mr. and a very respectable thing. thoroughly heated by his indifference. ‘perhaps you would attend to it.—Chair there!’ Perhaps a little angry with himself. Darnay. Lorry.A Tale of Two Cities If you’ll excuse me. who smelt of port wine. Lorry bustled into the chair. Carton.’ said Mr. ‘It is a pity you have not. if business imposes its restraints and its silences and impediments. Carton. good night. Mr. sir!’ cried Mr. sir! I hope you have been this day preserved for a prosperous and happy life.’ pursued Mr. sir.’ ‘Business! Bless you. as very much your elder. no!—I shouldn’t. Mr. God bless you.’ ‘I think so. Mr. laughed then. I really don’t know that it is your business.’ ‘Lord love you. sir.

‘Do you feel. with his separate bottle of port before him. You speak faintly.’ Drawing his arm through his own. into a tavern. it’s not so long since you were pretty far advanced on your way to another. up a covered way.’ ‘I don’t wonder at it. myself. while those numskulls were deliberating which world you should belong to—this. where Charles Darnay was soon recruiting his strength with a good plain dinner and good wine: while Carton sat opposite to him at the same table. and so.’ ‘Then why the devil don’t you dine? I dined. that you belong to this terrestrial scheme again. Let me show you the nearest tavern to dine well at.’ returned Charles Darnay. ‘to belong to this world again. they were shown into a little room. standing alone here with your counterpart on these street stones?’ ‘I hardly seem yet.’ ‘I begin to think I AM faint. Here. he took him down Ludgate-hill to Fleet-street. yet. Darnay?’ 142 of 670 . Mr. or some other. This must be a strange night to you. and his fully half-insolent manner upon him.A Tale of Two Cities ‘This is a strange chance that throws you and me together.

’ ‘It must be an immense satisfaction!’ He said it bitterly. finally. is to forget that I belong to it. Mr. the greatest desire I have. you and I. Carton flung his glass over his shoulder against 143 of 670 . Charles Darnay was at a loss how to answer. Darnay. ‘Now your dinner is done.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I am frightfully confused regarding time and place.’ ‘Miss Manette. ‘why don’t you call a health. I’ll swear it’s there. I begin to think we are not much alike in any particular. to be like a dream. answered not at all. then!’ ‘Miss Manette. then!’ Looking his companion full in the face while he drank the toast. it must be. why don’t you give your toast?’ ‘What health? What toast?’ ‘Why. It has no good in it for me—except wine like this—nor I for it. Indeed. So we are not much alike in that particular.’ Confused by the emotion of the day.’ Carton presently said. it’s on the tip of your tongue. It ought to be. but I am so far mended as to feel that. and feeling his being there with this Double of coarse deportment. and filled up his glass again: which was a large one. ‘As to me.

ruing his new goblet. ‘I neither want any thanks. Mr. Mr.’ ‘Do you think I particularly like you?’ 144 of 670 .’ ‘Willingly. when I gave it her. rang the bell. Darnay!’ he said. of his own free will. nor merit any. Not that she showed she was pleased. but I suppose she was. in the first place. and a small return for your good offices. let me ask you a question. and ordered in another. Darnay. in the second.’ were the answer. and thanked him for it. where it shivered to pieces. ‘It was nothing to do. A slight frown and a laconic ‘Yes. Darnay?’ Again Darnay answered not a word.’ was the careless rejoinder.’ The allusion served as a timely reminder to Darnay that this disagreeable companion had. ‘That’s a fair young lady to be pitied by and wept for by! How does it feel? Is it worth being tried for one’s life. then. ‘She was mightily pleased to have your message.A Tale of Two Cities the wall. ‘That’s a fair young lady to hand to a coach in the dark. and I don’t know why I did it. He turned the dialogue to that point. assisted him in the strait of the day. to be the object of such sympathy and compassion. Mr.

‘A last word. Charles Darnay rose and wished him good night. Carton.’ ‘Think? You know I have been drinking. ‘Do you call the whole reckoning?’ said Carton.’ ‘Nevertheless. drawer.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Really.’ returned the other.’ ‘I don’t think I do. but I don’t think you do. On his answering in the affirmative. to prevent my calling the reckoning. ‘I begin to have a very good opinion of your understanding. Without returning the wish. Mr. oddly disconcerted.’ said Carton. Carton rose too.’ Carton rejoining. with something of a threat of defiance in his manner.’ ‘But ask yourself the question now. ‘Then bring me another pint of this same wine. and come and wake me at ten. ‘there is nothing in that. Mr. and said. I know it. ‘I have not asked myself the question. rising to ring the bell.’ 145 of 670 . Mr.’ ‘Since I must say so.’ ‘You have acted as if you do.’ The bill being paid.’ pursued Darnay. Darnay: you think I am drunk?’ ‘I think you have been drinking. Carton. ‘Nothing in life!’ Darnay rang. and our parting without ill-blood on either side. I hope.

I care for no man on earth. this strange being took up a candle. that he shows you what you have fallen away from. went to a glass that hung against the wall. Mr. and fell asleep on his arms. Ah. drank it all in a few minutes. however. ‘Do you particularly like the man?’ he muttered. and no man on earth cares for me. you know that. sir. and have it out in plain words! You hate the fellow. and would you have been looked at by those blue eyes as he was. and commiserated by that agitated face as he was? Come on.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Then you shall likewise know why.’ ‘May be so. I am a disappointed drudge. with his 146 of 670 .’ He resorted to his pint of wine for consolation. at his own image. you don’t know what it may come to. Good night!’ When he was left alone. confound you! What a change you have made in yourself! A good reason for taking to a man. ‘why should you particularly like a man who resembles you? There is nothing in you to like. Don’t let your sober face elate you. and what you might have been! Change places with him. Darnay. and surveyed himself minutely in it.’ ‘Much to be regretted. may be not. You might have used your talents better.

A Tale of Two Cities hair straggling over the table. 147 of 670 . and a long winding-sheet in the candle dripping down upon him.

like a great 148 of 670 . already fast shouldering his way to a large and lucrative practice. and eke at the Sessions. a ridiculous exaggeration. would seem. that a moderate statement of the quantity of wine and punch which one man would swallow in the course of a night. bursting out of the bed of wigs. Sessions and Old Bailey had now to summon their favourite. Stryver had begun cautiously to hew away the lower staves of the ladder on which he mounted. Stryver might be daily seen. and shouldering itself towards the visage of the Lord Chief Justice in the Court of King’s Bench. specially. A favourite at the Old Bailey. behind his compeers in this particular. without any detriment to his reputation as a perfect gentleman. and most men drank hard. the florid countenance of Mr. to their longing arms. So very great is the improvement Time has brought about in such habits. in these days. any more than in the drier parts of the legal race. Mr.A Tale of Two Cities V The Jackal Those were drinking days. neither was Mr. The learned profession of the law was certainly not behind any other learned profession in its Bacchanalian propensities. Stryver.

and an unscrupulous. among such as were interested in the matter. What the two drank together. But. staring at the ceiling of the court. that while Mr. going home stealthily and unsteadily to his lodgings. and a bold. and however late at night he sat carousing with Sydney Carton. it began to get about. Stryver was a glib man. Sydney Carton. they went the same Circuit. a remarkable improvement came upon him as to this. but Carton was there. between Hilary Term and Michaelmas. The more business he got. was Stryver’s great ally. like a dissipated cat. that although 149 of 670 . with his hands in his pockets. he had not that faculty of extracting the essence from a heap of statements. and even there they prolonged their usual orgies late into the night. the greater his power seemed to grow of getting at its pith and marrow. idlest and most unpromising of men. and Carton was rumoured to be seen at broad day. might have floated a king’s ship. anywhere. It had once been noted at the Bar. and a ready. he always had his points at his fingers’ ends in the morning. At last. which is among the most striking and necessary of the advocate’s accomplishments. Stryver never had a case in hand.A Tale of Two Cities sunflower pushing its way at the sun from among a rank garden-full of flaring companions.

strained.’ ‘Oh! I remember. and walked out. he was an amazingly good jackal. sir. he got up. which the man dexterously combated by stirring the fire continuously for five minutes. had gone home. tossed his hat on. and which can be 150 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities Sydney Carton would never be a lion. and the Stryver principal opened the door. He had his slippers on. Your honour told me to call you. and his throat was bare for his greater ease. sir. The Stryver clerk.’ After a few dull efforts to get to sleep again. which may be observed in all free livers of his class. who never assisted at these conferences. whom he had charged to wake him—‘ten o’clock. Very well. sir. and a loose bedgown. seared marking about the eyes.’ ‘WHAT’S the matter?’ ‘Ten o’clock. ‘Ten o’clock.’ ‘What do you mean? Ten o’clock at night?’ ‘Yes. and that he rendered suit and service to Stryver in that humble capacity. and. turned into the Stryver chambers. sir. from the portrait of Jeffries downward. He turned into the Temple.’ said the man at the tavern. very well. having revived himself by twice pacing the pavements of King’s Bench-walk and Paper-buildings. He had that rather wild.

under various disguises of Art. I perceive. and lemons.A Tale of Two Cities traced. How did you come by it? When did it strike you?’ ‘I thought he was rather a handsome fellow. through the portraits of every Drinking Age. ‘You are a little late. if I had had any luck.’ They went into a dingy room lined with books and littered with papers. ‘About the usual time. that you brought to bear upon the identification. A kettle steamed upon the hob. and sugar. and I thought I should have been much the same sort of fellow. I have been dining with the day’s client. ‘You have had your bottle. and in the midst of the wreck of papers a table shone. Memory. where there was a blazing fire.’ 151 of 670 . it may be a quarter of an hour later. with plenty of wine upon it.’ ‘Two to-night. ‘You and your luck.’ said Stryver.’ Mr. or seeing him dine—it’s all one!’ ‘That was a rare point. and rum. Sydney. get to work. Sydney. and brandy. Stryver laughed till he shook his precocious paunch. Sydney! Get to work. I think.

Fire away!’ The lion then composed himself on his back on a sofa on one side of the drinking-table. sat down at the table. and said. Stryver. Steeping the towels in the water. looking at the fire.A Tale of Two Cities Sullenly enough. Memory. 152 of 670 . the lion for the most part reclining with his hands in his waistband. and a towel or two.’ ‘There they are. went into an adjoining room.’ said Mr. ‘How much?’ ‘Only two sets of them. the jackal. a basin. with the bottles and glasses ready to his hand. ‘Now I am ready!’ ‘Not much boiling down to be done to-night. as he looked among his papers. that his eyes did not even follow the hand he stretched out for his glass—which often groped about. and came back with a large jug of cold water.’ ‘Give me the worst first. with knitted brows and intent face. or occasionally flirting with some lighter document. the jackal loosened his dress. for a minute or more. so deep in his task. Both resorted to the drinking-table without stint. gaily. while the jackal sat at his own paper-bestrewn table proper. Sydney. he folded them on his head in a manner hideous to behold. on the other side of it. and partially wringing them out. but each in a different way.

and complied. fill a bumper of punch. that the jackal found it imperative on him to get up. shook himself. Stryver. At length the jackal had got together a compact repast for the lion. Sydney.’ said Mr. yawned. and lay down to mediate. and proceeded to offer it to him. shivered. 153 of 670 . the lion put his hands in his waistband again. the matter in hand became so knotty. and applied himself to the collection of a second meal. The jackal removed the towels from his head. which had been steaming again. The lion took it with care and caution. he returned with such eccentricities of damp headgear as no words can describe. The jackal then invigorated himself with a bum for his throttle. and his remarks upon it.A Tale of Two Cities before it found the glass for his lips. made his selections from it. and a fresh application to his head. this was administered to the lion in the same manner. From these pilgrimages to the jug and basin. When the repast was fully discussed. Two or three times. and was not disposed of until the clocks struck three in the morning. which were made the more ludicrous by his anxious gravity. ‘And now we have done. and the jackal assisted both. and steep his towels anew.

nodding his head over him as he reviewed him in the present and the past. Every question told.’ said his friend. Up one minute and down the next. the jackal again complied. am I not?’ ‘I don’t gainsay it. with the same luck. Sydney. It was my way.’ ‘I always am sound. with his hands in his pockets and his legs stretched out before him. as if the fire-grate had been the furnace in which sustained endeavour was forged. now in spirits and now in despondency!’ ‘Ah!’ returned the other. ‘The old Sydney Carton of old Shrewsbury School.’ With a deprecatory grunt. and seldom did my own. ‘the old seesaw Sydney.A Tale of Two Cities ‘You were very sound. ‘And why not?’ ‘God knows. Even then. What has roughened your temper? Put some punch to it and smooth it again. squaring himself at him with a bullying air. in the matter of those crown witnesses to-day. looking at the fire. I suppose. I did exercises for other boys. and the one delicate thing to be done for the old Sydney Carton of old Shrewsbury School was to shoulder him into it.’ He sat.’ said Stryver. sighing: ‘yes! The same Sydney. ‘Carton. ‘your way 154 of 670 .

Look at me. Even when we were fellow-students in the Student-Quarter of Paris. and at Shrewsbury. ‘Before Shrewsbury. he laughed again. I suppose. You summon no energy and purpose. picking up French. ‘don’t YOU be moral!’ ‘How have I done what I have done?’ said Stryver. ‘how do I do what I do?’ ‘Partly through paying me to help you. with a lighter and more good. or the air. and other French crumbs that we didn’t get much good of. ‘you have fallen into your rank. and French law.’ said Carton. botheration!’ returned Sydney.’ ‘And whose fault was that?’ 155 of 670 . you were always somewhere.’ ‘Oh. I was not born there. and I was always behind. But it’s not worth your while to apostrophise me. At this.’ ‘I had to get into the front rank. and always was. and they both laughed. about it. a lame way.humoured laugh. and I have fallen into mine. what you want to do.’ pursued Carton.A Tale of Two Cities is. and I was always nowhere. you do. You were always in the front rank. was I?’ ‘I was not present at the ceremony. but my opinion is you were. and ever since Shrewsbury.

man alive. with the day breaking.’ ‘Why. It’s a gloomy thing.’ he muttered. for he became gloomy again. Sydney. to that restless degree that I had no chance for my life but in rust and repose. however. You were always driving and riving and shouldering and passing. ‘Pretty witness.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Upon my soul. Stryver. ‘Are you turned in a pleasant direction?’ Apparently not. she was the admiration of the whole Court!’ ‘Rot the admiration of the whole Court! Who made the Old Bailey a judge of beauty? She was a golden-haired doll!’ ‘Do you know. ‘I have had enough of witnesses to-day and to-night. and slowly drawing a hand across his 156 of 670 . looking at him with sharp eyes.’ ‘Well then! Pledge me to the pretty witness.’ ‘SHE pretty?’ ‘Is she not?’ ‘No. holding up his glass. to talk about one’s own past.’ said Stryver. who’s your pretty witness?’ ‘The picturesque doctor’s daughter. I am not sure that it was not yours. looking down into his glass.’ said Mr. Turn me in some other direction before I go. Miss Manette.

the air was cold and sad. And now I’ll have no more drink.A Tale of Two Cities florid face: ‘do you know. the dull sky overcast. and perseverance. to light him down the stairs. Waste forces within him. I’ll get to bed. the river dark and dim. I rather thought. doll or no doll. as if the desert-sand had risen far away. I pledge you. there were airy galleries from which the loves and graces looked upon him. lying in the wilderness before him. And wreaths of dust were spinning round and round before the morning blast. a mirage of honourable ambition. swoons within a yard or two of a man’s nose. he can see it without a perspective-glass. When he got out of the house. waters of Hope that 157 of 670 . and the first spray of it in its advance had begun to overwhelm the city. the day was coldly looking in through its grimy windows. In the fair city of this vision. and saw for a moment. that you sympathised with the golden-haired doll. self-denial. gardens in which the fruits of life hung ripening. at the time. this man stood still on his way across a silent terrace. and a desert all around. the whole scene like a lifeless desert. but I deny the beauty. and were quick to see what happened to the golden-haired doll?’ ‘Quick to see what happened! If a girl.’ When his host followed him out on the staircase with a candle.

sensible of the blight on him. he threw himself down in his clothes on a neglected bed. and it was gone. it rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities and good emotions. incapable of his own help and his own happiness. and resigning himself to let it eat him away. 158 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities sparkled in his sight. sadly. the sun rose. and its pillow was wet with wasted tears. A moment. Sadly. Climbing to a high chamber in a well of houses. incapable of their directed exercise.

secondly. and knew how the ways of the 159 of 670 . Firstly. Mr. Mr. Mr. and generally getting through the day. on fine Sundays. Jarvis Lorry walked along the sunny streets from Clerkenwell where he lived. and carried it. Lorry had become the Doctor’s friend. he often walked out. On the afternoon of a certain fine Sunday when the waves of four months had roiled over the trial for treason. for three reasons of habit. as to the public interest and memory. on unfavourable Sundays. After several relapses into business-absorption. thirdly. looking out of window. because. far out to sea. and the quiet street-corner was the sunny part of his life. on his way to dine with the Doctor. before dinner. he was accustomed to be with them as the family friend. because. because he happened to have his own little shrewd doubts to solve.A Tale of Two Cities VI Hundreds of People The quiet lodgings of Doctor Manette were in a quiet street-corner not far from Soho-square. with the Doctor and Lucie. On this certain fine Sunday. talking. Lorry walked towards Soho. early in the afternoon. reading.

staid but cheerful. was not to be found in London. and the front windows of the Doctor’s lodgings commanded a pleasant little vista of street that had a congenial air of retirement on it. The Doctor occupied two 160 of 670 . and there was many a good south wall. north of the Oxford-road. on which the peaches ripened in their season. though not in shadow so remote but that you could see beyond it into a glare of brightness. and there was. and forest-trees flourished. in the now vanished fields. but. It was a cool spot. and wild flowers grew. The summer light struck into the corner brilliantly in the earlier part of the day. There were few buildings then. a wonderful place for echoes. instead of languishing into the parish like stray paupers without a settlement. and the hawthorn blossomed. As a consequence. There ought to have been a tranquil bark in such an anchorage. not far off. A quainter corner than the corner where the Doctor lived. There was no way through it. when the streets grew hot.A Tale of Two Cities Doctor’s household pointed to that time as a likely time for solving them. country airs circulated in Soho with vigorous freedom. and a very harbour from the raging streets. the corner was in shadow.

In a building at the back. where several callings purported to be pursued by day. and the echoes in the corner before it. and its revival in the floating whispers of his story. was ever heard or seen. and likewise gold to be beaten by some mysterious giant who had a golden arm starting out of the wall of the front hall—as if he had beaten himself precious. and which was shunned by all of them at night. or of a dim coach-trimming maker asserted to have a counting-house below. and silver to be chased. had their own way from Sunday morning unto Saturday night. were only the exceptions required to prove the rule that the sparrows in the plane-tree behind the house. attainable by a courtyard where a plane-tree rustled its green leaves. church-organs claimed to be made. or of a lonely lodger rumoured to live up-stairs. however. but whereof little was audible any day.A Tale of Two Cities floors of a large stiff house. or a distant clink was heard across the courtyard. and his vigilance and skill in conducting ingenious experiments. or a thump from the golden giant. 161 of 670 . Occasionally. brought him. Very little of these trades. Doctor Manette received such patients here as his old reputation. and menaced a similar conversion of all visitors. These. traversed the hall. His scientific knowledge. or a stranger peered about there. a stray workman putting his coat on.

but of a certainty impossible for handmaid to anticipate intentions of Miss Pross. ‘Doctor Manette at home?’ Expected home. These things were within Mr.’ Although the Doctor’s daughter had known nothing of the country of her birth. Jarvis Lorry’s knowledge. it was set off by so many little adornments. she appeared to have innately derived from it that ability to make much of little means. as to admission or denial of the fact. Simple as the furniture was. ‘As I am at home myself. The disposition of everything in the rooms. thoughts. ‘Miss Lucie at home?’ Expected home. that its effect was delightful. ‘Miss Pross at home?’ Possibly at home. and he earned as much as he wanted. ‘I’ll go upstairs. which is one of its most useful and most agreeable characteristics.A Tale of Two Cities brought him otherwise into moderate request. and notice. Lorry. from the largest object to the 162 of 670 . of no value but for their taste and fancy.’ said Mr. on the fine Sunday afternoon. when he rang the doorbell of the tranquil house in the corner.

smilingly observant of that fanciful resemblance which he detected all around him. and in it were Lucie’s birds. and work-table. in a corner. the arrangement of colours. The first was the best room. Lorry stood looking about him. the second was the Doctor’s consulting-room. Lorry. 163 of 670 . the third. and so expressive of their originator. and box of watercolours. that. Mr. with something of that peculiar expression which he knew so well by this time. as Mr. stood the disused shoemaker’s bench and tray of tools. used also as the dining-room. the elegant variety and contrast obtained by thrift in trifles. and.A Tale of Two Cities least. the doors by which they communicated being put open that the air might pass freely through them all. much as it had stood on the fifth floor of the dismal house by the wine-shop. whether he approved? There were three rooms on a floor. by delicate hands. was the Doctor’s bedroom. and there. clear eyes. in the suburb of Saint Antoine in Paris. changingly speckled by the rustle of the plane-tree in the yard. and books. were at once so pleasant in themselves. and flowers. and good sense. the very chairs and tables seemed to ask him. and desk. walked from one to another.

’ ‘Indeed?’ ‘For gracious sake say something else besides ‘indeed. I thank you. ‘Pooh! You’d have thought!’ said Miss Pross. with meekness.’ said Miss Pross: whose character (dissociated from stature) was shortness. and had since improved. and yet as if to express that she bore him no malice.’ answered Mr. ‘I am very much put out about my Ladybird.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I wonder.’ or you’ll fidget me to death. Lorry. Lorry left off. ‘I am pretty well. whose acquaintance he had first made at the Royal George Hotel at Dover. Lorry began. 164 of 670 . ‘Indeed?’ ‘Ah! indeed!’ said Miss Pross. the wild red woman. and Mr.’ said Miss Pross. It proceeded from Miss Pross.’ said Mr. pausing in his looking about. ‘that he keeps that reminder of his sufferings about him!’ ‘And why wonder at that?’ was the abrupt inquiry that made him start. Lorry. ‘How do you do?’ inquired that lady then—sharply. ‘how are you?’ ‘Nothing to boast of. ‘I should have thought—’ Mr. strong of hand.

’ said Miss Pross. using that important part of himself as a sort of fairy cloak that would fit anything. Lorry. as an amendment. you may take your affidavit. ‘DO dozens come for that purpose?’ ‘Hundreds.’ said Miss Pross. I am very much put out. Lorry. then?’ said Mr. to come here looking after her. ‘I have lived with the darling—or the darling has lived with me.’ returned Miss Pross. Mr. ‘Dear me!’ said Mr.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Really. is bad enough. Lorry shook his head. ‘but better. And it’s really very hard. It was characteristic of this lady (as of some other people before her time and since) that whenever her original proposition was questioned. she exaggerated it. Yes. 165 of 670 . ‘Really. and paid me for it. as the safest remark he could think of. if I could have afforded to keep either myself or her for nothing— since she was ten years old.’ ‘May I ask the cause?’ ‘I don’t want dozens of people who are not at all worthy of Ladybird. Not seeing with precision what was very hard. which she certainly should never have done.’ said Miss Pross.

to take Ladybird’s affections away from me.’ said Miss Pross. for pure love and admiration. not that I have any fault to find with Doctor Manette. beneath the service of her eccentricity. except that he is not worthy of such a daughter. are always turning up. one of those unselfish creatures—found only among women—who will. which is no imputation on him. I suppose? I say. But it really is doubly and trebly hard to have crowds and multitudes of people turning up after him (I could have forgiven him). Miss Pross?’ ‘Didn’t you? Who brought her father to life?’ ‘Oh! If THAT was beginning it—’ said Mr. but he also knew her by this time to be. to youth when they have lost it.’ Mr. Lorry. bind themselves willing slaves. to bright hopes that never shone upon their own sombre lives. He knew enough of the world to know that 166 of 670 . Lorry knew Miss Pross to be very jealous. for it was not to be expected that anybody should be. it was hard enough. to accomplishments that they were never fortunate enough to gain. ‘When you began it—‘ ‘I began it. under any circumstances.A Tale of Two Cities ‘All sorts of people who are not in the least degree worthy of the pet. when you began it. ‘It wasn’t ending it. to beauty that they never had.

’ Here again: Mr. ‘and that was my brother Solomon. so rendered and so free from any mercenary taint. if he hadn’t made a mistake in life. Miss Pross’s fidelity of belief in Solomon (deducting a mere trifle for this slight mistake) was quite a serious matter with Mr.A Tale of Two Cities there is nothing in it better than the faithful service of the heart. ‘There never was. as a stake to speculate with. who had balances at Tellson’s. that in the retributive arrangements made by his own mind—we all make such arrangements. Lorry.’ he said. but one man worthy of Ladybird. he had such an exalted respect for it. when they had got back to the drawing-room and had sat down there in friendly 167 of 670 . and had abandoned her in her poverty for evermore. ‘As we happen to be alone for the moment. nor will be. and had its weight in his good opinion of her. and are both people of business. Lorry’s inquiries into Miss Pross’s personal history had established the fact that her brother Solomon was a heartless scoundrel who had stripped her of everything she possessed.’ said Miss Pross. more or less— he stationed Miss Pross much nearer to the lower Angels than many ladies immeasurably better got up both by Nature and Art. with no touch of compunction.

’ said Miss Pross.’ ‘And that is—?’ ‘That she thinks he has.’ Mr. Lorry went on. ‘that Doctor Manette has any theory of his own. never refer to the shoemaking time. even to the name of his oppressor?’ ‘I don’t suppose anything about it but what Ladybird tells me. ‘let me ask you—does the Doctor.’ 168 of 670 . ‘Do you suppose. ‘But I don’t say he don’t refer to it within himself. relative to the cause of his being so oppressed.’ said Miss Pross. in talking with Lucie. do you suppose—you go so far as to suppose. Have no imagination at all.’ ‘Do you believe that he thinks of it much?’ ‘I do. Lorry had begun. preserved through all those years. perhaps. when Miss Pross took him up short with: ‘Never imagine anything. as it looked kindly at her. shaking her head.’ ‘And yet keeps that bench and those tools beside him?’ ‘Ah!’ returned Miss Pross.’ ‘I stand corrected. with a laughing twinkle in his bright eye. ‘Do you imagine—’ Mr. yet?’ ‘Never. sometimes?’ ‘Now and then.A Tale of Two Cities relations.

though he had business relations with me many years ago. Mr. and who is so devotedly attached to him? Believe me. he may never feel certain of not 169 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities ‘Now don’t be angry at my asking all these questions. ‘he is afraid of the whole subject. you’ll tell me. no. Besides that. with placidity. softened by the tone of the apology. ‘No. or how he recovered himself. Surely not. but out of zealous interest. I should think.’ ‘Dull?’ Miss Pross inquired. because I am a mere dull man of business. To return to business:— Is it not remarkable that Doctor Manette. Lorry replied. I don’t approach the topic with you. Not knowing how he lost himself. Rather wishing his modest adjective away. and bad’s the best. why he may be. should never touch upon that question? I will not say with me. and you are a woman of business. I will say with the fair daughter to whom he is so devotedly attached.’ ‘Afraid?’ ‘It’s plain enough. unquestionably innocent of any crime as we are all well assured he is. Miss Pross. no.’ ‘Well! To the best of my understanding.’ said Miss Pross. out of curiosity. It’s a dreadful remembrance. and we are now intimate. his loss of himself grew out of it.

it is this doubt and the uneasiness it sometimes causes me that has led me to our present confidence. in his room. She hurries to him. Ladybird has learnt to know then that his mind is walking up and down.’ It was a profounder remark than Mr. to her. Indeed. a doubt lurks in my mind. Yet. and he instantly changes for the worse. Lorry had looked for. and she finds it best not to hint at it to him. ‘and fearful to reflect upon. like or no like. Sometimes. Miss Pross. by us overhead there. In short. In silence they go walking up and down together.’ said he. and they go on together. Better leave it alone. walking up and down.’ 170 of 670 . ‘Touch that string. until he is composed. till her love and company have brought him to himself. in his old prison. walking up and down.’ said Miss Pross. ‘True. walking up and down. must leave it alone. I should think. walking up and down. But he never says a word of the true reason of his restlessness. walking up and down together. shaking her head.A Tale of Two Cities losing himself again. he gets up in the dead of the night. walking up and down.’ ‘Can’t be helped. whether it is good for Doctor Manette to have that suppression always shut up within him. and will be heard. That alone wouldn’t make the subject pleasant.

The corner has been mentioned as a wonderful corner for echoes. it had begun to echo so resoundingly to the tread of coming feet. However. and red. that as Mr. Miss Pross was a pleasant sight. but. echoes of other steps that never came would be heard in their stead. such a peculiar Ear of a place. he fancied they would never approach. and would die away for good when they seemed close at hand. taking off her darling’s bonnet when she came up171 of 670 . ‘and now we shall have hundreds of people pretty soon!’ It was such a curious corner in its acoustical properties. Lorry stood at the open window. father and daughter did at last appear. that it seemed as though the very mention of that weary pacing to and fro had set it going. looking for the father and daughter whose steps he heard. albeit wild. as though the steps had gone. and Miss Pross was ready at the street door to receive them. there was a perception of the pain of being monotonously haunted by one sad idea. ‘Here they are!’ said Miss Pross. in her repetition of the phrase. and grim. walking up and down. which testified to her possessing such a thing.A Tale of Two Cities Notwithstanding Miss Pross’s denial of her own imagination. rising to break up the conference. Not only would the echoes die away.

and so neat in their 172 of 670 . and protesting against her taking so much trouble for her—which last she only dared to do playfully. In the arrangements of the little household. Miss Pross took charge of the lower regions. Mr. and folding her mantle ready for laying by. Lorry looked in vain for the fulfilment of Miss Pross’s prediction. would have retired to her own chamber and cried. sorely hurt. But. and always acquitted herself marvellously. and would have had more if it were possible.A Tale of Two Cities stairs. Lorry was a pleasant sight too. and thanking his bachelor stars for having lighted him in his declining years to a Home. and Mr. and blowing the dust off it. or Miss Pross. and touching it up with the ends of her handkerchief. no Hundreds of people came to see the sights. and telling Miss Pross how she spoilt Lucie. Dinner-time. were so well cooked and so well served. in accents and with eyes that had as much spoiling in them as Miss Pross had. Her darling was a pleasant sight too. and still no Hundreds of people. looking on at them. Her dinners. and smoothing her rich hair with as much pride as she could possibly have taken in her own hair if she had been the vainest and handsomest of women. embracing her and thanking her. of a very modest quality. beaming at all this in his little wig. The Doctor was a pleasant sight too.

a rabbit. in search of impoverished French. tempted by shillings and half.crowns. either in the lower regions. or in her own room on the second floor—a blue chamber. to which no one but her Ladybird ever gained admittance. On Sundays. Miss Pross’s friendship being of the thoroughly practical kind. that the woman and girl who formed the staff of domestics regarded her as quite a Sorceress. Lucie proposed that the wine should be carried out under the plane-tree. and revolved about her. half English and half French. a vegetable or two from the garden.A Tale of Two Cities contrivances. they 173 of 670 . unbent exceedingly. and. Miss Pross. It was an oppressive day. she had acquired such wonderful arts. so the dinner was very pleasant. and change them into anything she pleased. From these decayed sons and daughters of Gaul. Miss Pross dined at the Doctor’s table. would impart culinary mysteries to her. On this occasion. she had ravaged Soho and the adjacent provinces. As everything turned upon her. who. responding to Ladybird’s pleasant face and pleasant efforts to please her. too. or Cinderella’s Godmother: who would send out for a fowl. but on other days persisted in taking her meals at unknown periods. after dinner. and they should sit there in the air. that nothing could be better.

it was very agreeable to trace the likeness. She had installed herself. Lorry. She was not unfrequently the victim of this disorder. and with unusual vivacity. as Mr. and the planetree whispered to them in its own way above their heads. Darnay presented himself while they were sitting under the plane-tree. Lorry’s cupbearer. He had been talking all day. as they sat under the plane-tree—and he said it in 174 of 670 . and so did Lucie. But. Darnay. some time before. The resemblance between him and Lucie was very strong at such times. and as they sat side by side. Mr. Miss Pross suddenly became afflicted with a twitching in the head and body. ‘a fit of the jerks. and retired into the house. Doctor Manette received him kindly.A Tale of Two Cities went out under the plane-tree. ‘Pray. and while they sat under the plane-tree. and he resting his arm on the back of her chair. Still. and she carried the wine down for the special benefit of Mr. she kept his glass replenished. and looked specially young. on many subjects. in familiar conversation.’ The Doctor was in his best condition. the Hundreds of people did not present themselves. Doctor Manette. Mysterious backs and ends of houses peeped at them as they talked. talking. she leaning on his shoulder. but he was only One.’ said Mr. and she called it.

complaints. though reddening a little angrily.A Tale of Two Cities the natural pursuit of the topic in hand. the workmen came upon an old dungeon. as you remember. on being more carefully examined. with a smile. At first. and many 175 of 670 . Every stone of its inner wall was covered by inscriptions which had been carved by prisoners—dates. built up and forgotten.’ said Darnay. they were read as D. names. three letters. but only casually. which happened to be the old buildings of London—‘have you seen much of the Tower?’ ‘Lucie and I have been there.’ ‘I have been there. one prisoner. I.’ ‘What was that?’ Lucie asked. They told me a curious thing when I was there. and not in a character that gives facilities for seeing much of it. with an unsteady hand. They were done with some very poor instrument. the last letter was found to be G. Upon a corner stone in an angle of the wall. ‘In making some alterations. which had been. and hurriedly. and prayers. but.. for many years. who seemed to have gone to execution. There was no record or legend of any prisoner with those initials. We have seen enough of it. had cut as his last work. ‘in another character. to know that it teems with interest. little more. C.

it was suggested that the letters were not initials. At length.’ ‘My father. and hidden it away to keep it from the gaoler. 176 of 670 . with his hand to his head.A Tale of Two Cities fruitless guesses were made what the name could have been. and. or fancied it detected. he said not a single word in reference to the discovery that had been told of. not ill. Lorry either detected. What the unknown prisoner had written will never be read. or some fragment of paving. But. We had better go in. as they went into the house. as it turned towards Charles Darnay. my dear. ‘you are ill!’ He had suddenly started up. but he had written something. on his face. Rain was really falling in large drops. in the earth beneath a stone. The floor was examined very carefully under the inscription. and he showed the back of his hand with rain-drops on it.’ exclaimed Lucie.’ He recovered himself almost instantly. DiG. but the complete word. were found the ashes of a paper. the same singular look that had been upon it when it turned towards him in the passages of the Court House. and they made me start. or tile. There are large drops of rain falling. the business eye of Mr. and. His manner and his look quite terrified them all. mingled with the ashes of a small leathern case or bag. ‘No.

as people watching and waiting mostly do. however. Darnay sat beside her.A Tale of Two Cities He recovered himself so quickly. as people in a dark room. and yet no Hundreds of people. Lorry had doubts of his business eye. they all moved to one of the windows. The arm of the golden giant in the hall was not more steady than he was. Tea-time. When the tea-table was done with. The curtains were long and white. 177 of 670 . large. that although they sat with doors and windows open. always do. and waved them like spectral wings.’ said Carton. ‘It comes slowly. and looked out into the heavy twilight. watching and waiting for Lightning.’ ‘It comes surely. Mr. and few. ‘The rain-drops are still falling.’ said Doctor Manette. They spoke low. heavy. Lucie sat by her father. and Miss Pross making tea. Carton leaned against a window. The night was so very sultry. they were overpowered by heat. Carton had lounged in. and some of the thunder-gusts that whirled into the corner. when he stopped under it to remark to them that he was not yet proof against slight surprises (if he ever would be). caught them up to the ceiling. that Mr. with another fit of the jerks upon her. but he made only Two. and that the rain had startled him.

A Tale of Two Cities There was a great hurry in the streets of people speeding away to get shelter before the storm broke. listening. some. I have sat here of an evening. in his moody way. the wonderful corner for echoes resounded with the echoes of footsteps coming and going. some coming. under the windows. if that be so.’ ‘There is a great crowd coming one day into our lives. Mr.’ ‘It will seem nothing to you. some. when all is so black and solemn—‘ ‘Let us shudder too. ‘A multitude of people. and yet a solitude!’ said Darnay. in the room. The footsteps were incessant. until I have fancied—but even the shade of a foolish fancy makes me shudder to-night. I think. some going. Such whims are only impressive as we originate them. The corner echoed and reechoed with the tread of feet. when they had listened for a while.’ Sydney Carton struck in. they are not to be communicated. until I have made the echoes out to be the echoes of all the footsteps that are coming by-and-bye into our lives. We may know what it is. yet not a footstep was there. as it seemed. some breaking off. some stopping 178 of 670 . I have sometimes sat alone here of an evening. Darnay?’ asked Lucie. and the hurry of them became more and more rapid. ‘Sometimes. ‘Is it not impressive. as it seemed.

when Mr. fierce. high179 of 670 . ‘Are all these footsteps destined to come to all of us. and there was not a moment’s interval in crash. after a peal of thunder. A memorable storm of thunder and lightning broke with that sweep of water. I told you it was a foolish fancy. and then I have imagined them the footsteps of the people who are to come into my life. ‘Here they come. When I have yielded myself to it.’ ‘I take them into mine!’ said Carton. Lorry. or are we to divide them among us?’ ‘I don’t know. escorted by Jerry. Darnay. and not one within sight. Miss Manette. for no voice could be heard in it. after there had been a vivid flash which had shown him lounging in the window. Miss Manette. and fire. ‘And I hear them!’ he added again. and it stopped him. I have been alone. and my father’s. all in the distant streets. ‘I ask no questions and make no stipulations. There is a great crowd bearing down upon us. until after the moon rose at midnight. and rain. The great bell of Saint Paul’s was striking one in the cleared air. and I see them—by the Lightning. and furious!’ It was the rush and roar of rain that he typified. Mr.A Tale of Two Cities altogether.’ He added the last words. fast. but you asked for it.

bearing down upon them. ‘Good night.’ said Mr. too. 180 of 670 . mindful of foot-pads.A Tale of Two Cities booted and bearing a lantern. Perhaps. Shall we ever see such a night again. always retained Jerry for this service: though it was usually performed a good two hours earlier. master—nor yet I don’t expect to— what would do that. and Mr. see the great crowd of people with its rush and roar. Lorry. ‘What a night it has been! Almost a night. ‘to bring the dead out of their graves. Mr. set forth on his returnpassage to Clerkenwell.’ said the man of business.’ answered Jerry. Jerry.’ ‘I never see the night myself. Mr. There were solitary patches of road on the way between Soho and Clerkenwell. ‘Good night. Lorry. Darnay. together!’ Perhaps. Carton.

a third. all four ablaze with gorgeous decoration. and the Chief of them unable to exist with fewer than two gold watches in his pocket. One lacquey carried the chocolate-pot into the sacred presence. Yes. and was by some few sullen minds supposed to be rather rapidly swallowing France. 181 of 670 . emulative of the noble and chaste fashion set by Monseigneur. the Holiest of Holiests to the crowd of worshippers in the suite of rooms without. Monseigneur was about to take his chocolate. a second. his morning’s chocolate could not so much as get into the throat of Monseigneur.A Tale of Two Cities VII Monseigneur in Town Monseigneur. without the aid of four strong men besides the Cook. Monseigneur was in his inner room. his sanctuary of sanctuaries. presented the favoured napkin. to conduct the happy chocolate to Monseigneur’s lips. It took four men. one of the great lords in power at the Court. Monseigneur could swallow a great many things with ease. milled and frothed the chocolate with the little instrument he bore for that function. a fourth (he of the two gold watches). held his fortnightly reception in his grand hotel in Paris. but.

that the world was made for them. Monseigneur had been out at a little supper last night. than the needs of all France. The text of his order 182 of 670 . general and particular. Monseigneur had the other truly noble idea that it must all go his way—tend to his own power and pocket. which was. It was impossible for Monseigneur to dispense with one of these attendants on the chocolate and hold his high place under the admiring Heavens. Deep would have been the blot upon his escutcheon if his chocolate had been ignobly waited on by only three men. he must have died of two. of particular public business. as the like always is for all countries similarly favoured!— always was for England (by way of example). So polite and so impressible was Monseigneur. to let everything go on in its own way. that the Comedy and the Grand Opera had far more influence with him in the tiresome articles of state affairs and state secrets.A Tale of Two Cities poured the chocolate out. Monseigneur had the other truly noble idea. A happy circumstance for France. Monseigneur had one truly noble idea of general public business. in the regretted days of the merry Stuart who sold it. Monseigneur was out at a little supper most nights. Of his pleasures. where the Comedy and the Grand Opera were charmingly represented. with fascinating company.

because Farmer-Generals were rich. 183 of 670 . because Monseigneur could not make anything at all of them. as to finances private. Hence Monseigneur had taken his sister from a convent. which is not much) ran: ‘The earth and the fulness thereof are mine. was growing poor. looked down upon him with the loftiest contempt.’ Yet. poor in family. both private and public. carrying an appropriate cane with a golden apple on the top of it. and must consequently let them out to somebody who could. and had bestowed her as a prize upon a very rich FarmerGeneral. while there was yet time to ward off the impending veil. the cheapest garment she could wear. after generations of great luxury and expense. as to both classes of affairs. Monseigneur had slowly found that vulgar embarrassments crept into his affairs. As to finances public. who.A Tale of Two Cities (altered from the original by only a pronoun. and he had. and Monseigneur. was now among the company in the outer rooms. much prostrated before by mankind—always excepting superior mankind of the blood of Monseigneur. his own wife included. saith Monseigneur. Which Farmer-General. allied himself perforce with a Farmer-General.

the Farmer-General—howsoever his matrimonial relations conduced to social morality—was at least the greatest reality among the personages who attended at the hotel of Monseigneur that day. all totally unfit for their several callings. loose tongues. and looser lives. almost equidistant from the two extremes. brazen ecclesiastics. they would have been an exceedingly uncomfortable business—if that could have been anybody’s business. the rooms. civil officers without a notion of affairs. Military officers destitute of military knowledge. though a beautiful scene to look at.A Tale of Two Cities A sumptuous man was the Farmer-General. at the house of Monseigneur. considered with any reference to the scarecrows in the rags and nightcaps elsewhere (and not so far off. could see them both). six body-women waited on his wife. were. Thirty horses stood in his stables. not a sound business. of the worst world worldly. all lying horribly in pretending to belong to them. either. but all nearly or remotely 184 of 670 . naval officers with no idea of a ship. For. twenty-four male domestics sat in his halls. in truth. but that the watching towers of Notre Dame. with sensual eyes. As one who pretended to do nothing but plunder and forage where he could. and adorned with every device of decoration that the taste and skill of the time could achieve.

People not immediately connected with Monseigneur or the State.A Tale of Two Cities of the order of Monseigneur. at this wonderful gathering accumulated by Monseigneur. Projectors who had discovered every kind of remedy for the little evils with which the State was touched. and therefore foisted on all public employments from which anything was to be got. Exquisite gentlemen of the finest breeding. were no less abundant. talked with Unbelieving Chemists who had an eye on the transmutation of metals. poured their distracting babble into any ears they could lay hold of. these were to be told off by the score and the score. smiled upon their courtly patients in the ante-chambers of Monseigneur. which was at that remarkable time—and has been since—to be known by its fruits of indifference to every natural subject of human interest. at the reception of Monseigneur. were in the most exemplary state of 185 of 670 . yet equally unconnected with anything that was real. Doctors who made great fortunes out of dainty remedies for imaginary disorders that never existed. except the remedy of setting to work in earnest to root out a single sin. and making card-towers of Babel to scale the skies with. Unbelieving Philosophers who were remodelling the world with words. or with lives passed in travelling by any straight road to any true earthly end.

half of the half-dozen had become members of a fantastic sect of Convulsionists. Peasant women kept the unfashionable babies close. owned to being a Mother. that the spies among the assembled devotees of Monseigneur—forming a goodly half of the polite company—would have found it hard to discover among the angels of that sphere one solitary wife. and brought them up. except for the mere act of bringing a troublesome creature into this world— which does not go far towards the realisation of the name of mother— there was no such thing known to the fashion. In the outermost room were half a dozen exceptional people who had had. and turn cataleptic on the spot—thereby setting up a highly intelligible 186 of 670 . who. roar. some vague misgiving in them that things in general were going rather wrong. in her manners and appearance. rage. and were even then considering within themselves whether they should foam. The leprosy of unreality disfigured every human creature in attendance upon Monseigneur. and charming grandmammas of sixty dressed and supped as at twenty. As a promising way of setting them right. Indeed. for a few years. at the hotel of Monseigneur.A Tale of Two Cities exhaustion. Such homes had these various notabilities left behind them in the fine world of Paris.

which mended matters with a jargon about ‘the Centre of Truth:’ holding that Man had got out of the Centre of Truth—which did not need much demonstration—but had not got out of the Circumference. Such frizzling and powdering and sticking up of hair. and with the rustle 187 of 670 . much discoursing with spirits went on—and it did a world of good which never became manifest. would surely keep anything going. and what with that ringing. accordingly. for Monseigneur’s guidance. and that he was to be kept from flying out of the Circumference. that all the company at the grand hotel of Monseigneur were perfectly dressed. Among these. the comfort was. by fasting and seeing of spirits. But. If the Day of Judgment had only been ascertained to be a dress day. these golden fetters rang like precious little bells.A Tale of Two Cities finger-post to the Future. such gallant swords to look at. The exquisite gentlemen of the finest breeding wore little pendent trinkets that chinked as they languidly moved. and such delicate honour to the sense of smell. and was even to be shoved back into the Centre. Besides these Dervishes. such delicate complexions artificially preserved and mended. for ever and ever. were other three who had rushed into another sect. everybody there would have been eternally correct.

through Monseigneur and the whole Court. in a gold-laced coat. was required to officiate ‘frizzled. to call him. gold-laced. powdered. and white silk stockings. pumped. powdered. pumps. could possibly doubt. and the rest. And who among the company at Monseigneur’s reception in that seventeen hundred and eightieth year of our Lord. as it was the episcopal mode among his brother Professors of the provinces. in pursuance of the charm. the Fancy Ball descended to the Common Executioner: who. Monsieur Orleans. and white-silk stockinged. From the Palace of the Tuileries. presided in this dainty dress. Everybody was dressed for a Fancy Ball that was never to leave off. caused the doors of the Holiest of Holiests to be thrown open. there was a flutter in the air that fanned Saint Antoine and his devouring hunger far away. that a system rooted in a frizzled hangman. and all society (except the scarecrows). the Tribunals of Justice.’ At the gallows and the wheel—the axe was a rarity—Monsieur Paris. and issued forth. through the Chambers. Dress was the one unfailing talisman and charm used for keeping all things in their places.A Tale of Two Cities of silk and brocade and fine linen. 188 of 670 . would see the very stars out! Monseigneur having eased his four men of their burdens and taken his chocolate.

a whisper on one happy slave and a wave of the hand on another. stopping at the last door on his way. what cringing and fawning. what servility.’ said this person. nothing in that way was left for Heaven— which may have been one among other reasons why the worshippers of Monseigneur never troubled it. ‘I devote you. 189 of 670 . and came back again. There was soon but one person left of all the crowd. Monseigneur turned. with his hat under his arm and his snuff-box in his hand. and turning in the direction of the sanctuary. Monseigneur affably passed through his rooms to the remote region of the Circumference of Truth. There. what submission. the flutter in the air became quite a little storm. he shook the snuff from his fingers as if he had shaken the dust from his feet. and he. and was seen no more. slowly passed among the mirrors on his way out. what abject humiliation! As to bowing down in body and spirit. and the precious little bells went ringing downstairs.A Tale of Two Cities Then. and quietly walked downstairs. ‘to the Devil!’ With that. Bestowing a word of promise here and a smile there. The show being over. and so in due course of time got himself shut up in his sanctuary by the chocolate sprites.

one set expression on it. under the circumstances. it was a handsome face. handsomely dressed. and cruelty. then. and they would be occasionally dilated and contracted by something like a faint pulsation. In those two compressions. They persisted in changing colour sometimes. and with a face like a fine mask. 190 of 670 . It appeared. and the lines of the orbits of the eyes. and often barely escaping from being run down. beautifully formed otherwise. The nose. and a remarkable one. its capacity of helping such a look was to be found in the line of the mouth. haughty in manner. got into his carriage. Not many people had talked with him at the reception. they gave a look of treachery. His man drove as if he were charging an enemy. he had stood in a little space apart. resided. to the whole countenance. and drove away. the only little change that the face ever showed. in the effect of the face made. Examined with attention. still. being much too horizontal and thin. Its owner went downstairs into the courtyard.A Tale of Two Cities He was a man of about sixty. or dints. was very slightly pinched at the top of each nostril. and Monseigneur might have been warmer in his manner. every feature in it clearly defined. rather agreeable to him to see the common people dispersed before his horses. A face of a transparent paleness.

the carriage probably would not have stopped. or to the lips. and. and an inhuman abandonment of consideration not easy to be understood in these days. 191 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities and the furious recklessness of the man brought no check into the face. in this matter. with women screaming before it. swooping at a street corner by a fountain. one of its wheels came to a sickening little jolt. the fierce patrician custom of hard driving endangered and maimed the mere vulgar in a barbarous manner. few cared enough for that to think of it a second time. the common wretches were left to get out of their difficulties as they could. and why not? But the frightened valet had got down in a hurry. The complaint had sometimes made itself audible. But. even in that deaf city and dumb age. that. in the narrow streets without footways. and there was a loud cry from a number of voices. and there were twenty hands at the horses’ bridles. carriages were often known to drive on. of the master. and men clutching each other and clutching children out of its way. and the horses reared and plunged. the carriage dashed through streets and swept round corners. and leave their wounded behind. At last. But for the latter inconvenience. With a wild rattle and clatter. as in all others.

‘Dead!’ The people closed round. into a space some ten or twelve yards square. As the tall man suddenly got up from the ground. Monsieur the Marquis—it is a pity—yes. Monsieur the Marquis clapped his hand for an instant on his sword-hilt. calmly looking out. and came running at the carriage. and was down in the mud and wet. extending both arms at their length above his head. ‘Pardon.’ The fountain was a little removed. Monsieur the Marquis!’ said a ragged and submissive man. there was no visible menacing or anger. There was nothing revealed by the many eyes that looked at him but watchfulness and eagerness. and had laid it on the basement of the fountain. and 192 of 670 . they had been silent. after the first cry. ‘Killed!’ shrieked the man. ‘it is a child. for the street opened.A Tale of Two Cities ‘What has gone wrong?’ said Monsieur. in wild desperation. howling over it like a wild animal.’ ‘Why does he make that abominable noise? Is it his child?’ ‘Excuse me. A tall man in a nightcap had caught up a bundle from among the feet of the horses. and staring at him. and looked at Monsieur the Marquis. Neither did the people say anything. where it was.

was flat and tame in its extreme submission. The voice of the submissive man who had spoken. sobbing and crying. as the men. and all the heads craned forward that all the eyes might look down at it as it fell.’ said the last comer. The tall man called out again with a most unearthly cry. ‘Be a brave man.’ He threw out a gold coin for the valet to pick up. See! Give him that. He took out his purse. ‘Dead!’ He was arrested by the quick arrival of another man. I know all. On seeing him. for whom the rest made way.’ said he. They were as silent. my Gaspard! It is better for the poor little plaything to die so. It has died in a moment without pain. ‘It is extraordinary to me. ‘that you people cannot take care of yourselves and your children. and pointing to the fountain. Could it have lived an hour as happily?’ 193 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities they remained so. and moving gently about it. where some women were stooping over the motionless bundle. as if they had been mere rats come out of their holes. ‘I know all. way. Monsieur the Marquis ran his eyes over them all. however. than to live. How do I know what injury you have done my horses. One or the other of you is for ever in the. the miserable creature fell upon his shoulder.

except as to the spots on his nose: ‘I 194 of 670 . throwing him another gold coin. and ringing on its floor. ‘How do they call you?’ ‘They call me Defarge. ‘Hold the horses! Who threw that?’ He looked to the spot where Defarge the vendor of wine had stood. you there. but the wretched father was grovelling on his face on the pavement in that spot. ‘Hold!’ said Monsieur the Marquis. and was just being driven away with the air of a gentleman who had accidentally broke some common thing. and with an unchanged front.’ said the Marquis. a moment before.’ ‘Of what trade?’ ‘Monsieur the Marquis. knitting.A Tale of Two Cities ‘You are a philosopher. when his ease was suddenly disturbed by a coin flying into his carriage. are they right?’ Without deigning to look at the assemblage a second time. and had paid for it. but smoothly.’ ‘Pick up that. and could afford to pay for it. and the figure that stood beside him was the figure of a dark stout woman.’ said the. ‘and spend it as you will. Marquis. philosopher and vendor of wine. ‘You dogs!’ said the Marquis. smiling. vendor of wine. Monsieur the Marquis leaned back in his seat. The horses there.

and over all the other rats. the Comedy. the Ecclesiastic. or a hand. soldiers and police often passing between them and the spectacle. the Doctor. and through which they peeped. the Lawyer. If I knew which rascal threw at the carriage. and other carriages came whirling by in quick succession. The rats had crept out of their holes to look on.’ So cowed was their condition. Among the men. and looked the Marquis in the face. the Minister. and so long and hard their experience of what such a man could do to them. the whole Fancy Ball in a bright continuous flow. came whirling by. when the women who had 195 of 670 . and if that brigand were sufficiently near it. and they remained looking on for hours. that not a voice. within the law and beyond it. But the woman who stood knitting looked up steadily. the Farmer-General. not one. the State-Projector. or even an eye was raised. and he leaned back in his seat again. The father had long ago taken up his bundle and bidden himself away with it. and making a barrier behind which they slunk. and gave the word ‘Go on!’ He was driven on. he should be crushed under the wheels. the Grand Opera. and exterminate you from the earth. his contemptuous eyes passed over her.A Tale of Two Cities would ride over any of you very willingly. It was not for his dignity to notice it.

so much life in the city ran into death according to rule. the rats were sleeping close together in their dark holes again. The water of the fountain ran. the swift river ran. sat there watching the running of the water and the rolling of the Fancy Ball—when the one woman who had stood conspicuous. the day ran into evening.A Tale of Two Cities tended the bundle while it lay on the base of the fountain. 196 of 670 . still knitted on with the steadfastness of Fate. knitting. the Fancy Ball was lighted up at supper. time and tide waited for no man. all things ran their course.

’ 197 of 670 . Patches of poor rye where corn should have been. On inanimate nature. patches of most coarse vegetable substitutes for wheat. it was occasioned by an external circumstance beyond his control—the setting sun. it was not from within. as on the men and women who cultivated it. glancing at his hands. ‘It will die out.’ said Monsieur the Marquis. ‘directly. patches of poor peas and beans. A blush on the countenance of Monsieur the Marquis was no impeachment of his high breeding. that its occupant was steeped in crimson. but not abundant. and wither away. a prevalent tendency towards an appearance of vegetating unwillingly—a dejected disposition to give up. Monsieur the Marquis in his travelling carriage (which might have been lighter). conducted by four post-horses and two postilions.A Tale of Two Cities VIII Monseigneur in the Country A beautiful landscape. fagged up a steep hill. The sunset struck so brilliantly into the travelling carriage when it gained the hill-top. with the corn bright in it.

a church. were to be paid 198 of 670 . a windmill. But. Expressive sips of what made them poor. and a crag with a fortress on it used as a prison. and the carriage slid down hill. Round upon all these darkening objects as the night drew on. the tax for the church. in a cloud of dust. with a cinderous smell. poor tavern. poor tannery. the red glow departed quickly. and any such small yieldings of the earth that could be eaten. All its people were poor. while many were at the fountain. poor stable-yard for relays of post-horses. a little village at the bottom of the hill. the Marquis looked. and grasses. bold and open. with the air of one who was coming near home. with its poor brewery. shredding spare onions and the like for supper. the sun was so low that it dipped at the moment. there was no glow left when the drag was taken off. When the heavy drag had been adjusted to the wheel. and many of them were sitting at their doors. all usual poor appointments. the sun and the Marquis going down together. poor fountain. the tax for the lord.tower. It had its poor people too. washing leaves. the tax for the state. a forest for the chase. tax local and tax general. were not wanting. a broad sweep and rise beyond it.A Tale of Two Cities In effect. there remained a broken country. The village had its one poor street.

as the like of himself had drooped before Monseigneur of the Court—only the difference was. He looked at them. Monsieur the Marquis drew up in his travelling carriage at the posting-house gate. which twined snake-like about their heads in the evening air. Monsieur the Marquis cast his eyes over the submissive faces that drooped before him. until the wonder was. and by the cracking of his postilions’ whips. and no dogs. that there was any village left unswallowed. and saw in them. Heralded by a courier in advance. down in the little village under the mill. their choice on earth was stated in the prospect—Life on the lowest terms that could sustain it. the slow sure filing down of misery-worn face and figure. as if he came attended by the Furies. and the peasants suspended their operations to look at him. according to solemn inscription in the little village. It was hard by the fountain.A Tale of Two Cities here and to be paid there. without knowing it. As to the men and women. or captivity and Death in the dominant prison on the crag. Few children were to be seen. that these faces drooped merely to suffer 199 of 670 . that was to make the meagreness of Frenchmen an English superstition which should survive the truth through the best part of a hundred years.

A Tale of Two Cities and not to propitiate—when a grizzled mender of the roads joined the group. ‘What man.’ 200 of 670 . it is true. in the manner of the people at the Paris fountain. The fellow was brought. ‘Monseigneur. so fixedly?’ ‘Monseigneur. and at the top of the hill. and the other fellows closed round to look and listen.’ ‘Who?’ demanded the traveller. he swung by the chain of the shoe—the drag. I had the honour of being passed on the road. and with his tattered blue cap pointed under the carriage. pig? And why look there?’ ‘Pardon. I looked at the man. ‘I passed you on the road?’ ‘Monseigneur. the man.’ He stooped a little. both?’ ‘Monseigneur. All his fellows stooped to look under the carriage. it is true. cap in hand. ‘Bring me hither that fellow!’ said the Marquis to the courier. Monseigneur.’ ‘Coming up the hill.’ ‘What did you look at.

he was whiter than the miller. Monseigneur. that was the wonder of it. ‘Truly. you did well. and his head hanging down. Perhaps. ‘to see a thief accompanying my carriage. without comparing notes with other eyes. felicitously sensible that such vermin were not to ruffle him. looked at Monsieur the Marquis. fumbled with his cap. but all eyes. Of all the days of my life. and made a bow. with his face thrown up to the sky. and not open that great mouth of yours. All covered with dust. ‘What was he like?’ ‘Monseigneur. I never saw him.A Tale of Two Cities ‘May the Devil carry away these idiots! How do you call the man? You know all the men of this part of the country. Bah! Put him aside. Monseigneur! He was not of this part of the country. His head hanging over—like this!’ He turned himself sideways to the carriage. to observe whether he had any spectre on his conscience. Who was he?’ ‘Your clemency. tall as a spectre!’ The picture produced an immense sensation in the little crowd. Monsieur Gabelle!’ 201 of 670 . then recovered himself. and leaned back. white as a spectre.’ ‘Swinging by the chain? To be suffocated?’ ‘With your gracious permission.’ said the Marquis.

and had held the examined by the drapery of his arm in an official manner. ‘Lay hands on this stranger if he seeks to lodge in your village to-night. ‘Bah! Go aside!’ said Monsieur Gabelle. he precipitated himself over the hillside.’ ‘Did he run away. fellow?—where is that Accursed?’ The accursed was already under the carriage with some half-dozen particular friends. head first. the wheels turned so 202 of 670 . I am flattered to devote myself to your orders. pointing out the chain with his blue cap. Gabelle. and presented him breathless to Monsieur the Marquis.’ ‘Monseigneur.’ ‘See to it. Go on!’ The half-dozen who were peering at the chain were still among the wheels. he had come out with great obsequiousness to assist at this examination. Gabelle. ‘Did the man run away. like sheep. Some half-dozen other particular friends promptly hauled him out. when we stopped for the drag?’ ‘Monseigneur. Dolt. and some other taxing functionary united. and be sure that his business is honest.A Tale of Two Cities Monsieur Gabelle was the Postmaster. as a person plunges into the river.

or they might not have been so fortunate. To this distressful emblem of a great distress that had long been growing worse.’ 203 of 670 . swinging and lumbering upward among the many sweet scents of a summer night. the courier was audible. but he had studied the figure from the life—his own life. done by some inexperienced rustic carver. it subsided to a foot pace. a petition. it was a poor figure in wood. and was not at its worst. rose quickly. with a Cross and a new large figure of Our Saviour on it. they had very little else to save. ‘It is you. She turned her head as the carriage came up to her. the valet walked by the horses. Gradually. trotting on ahead into the dun distance. Monseigneur! Monseigneur. with a thousand gossamer gnats circling about them in lieu of the Furies. maybe—for it was dreadfully spare and thin.A Tale of Two Cities suddenly that they were lucky to save their skins and bones. was soon checked by the steepness of the hill. At the steepest point of the hill there was a little burialground. quietly mended the points to the lashes of their whips. a woman was kneeling. The postilions. The burst with which the carriage started out of the village and up the rise beyond. and presented herself at the carriage-door.

A Tale of Two Cities With an exclamation of impatience.’ ‘What of your husband. Can I restore him to you?’ ‘Alas. caressingly. Monseigneur! But he lies yonder. hear me! Monseigneur.’ 204 of 670 . For the love of the great God! My husband. but with his unchangeable face. He cannot pay something?’ ‘He has paid all. so many die of want. the forester? Always the same with you people. under a little heap of poor grass. Her manner was one of passionate grief. there are so many little heaps of poor grass?’ ‘Again. well?’ She looked an old woman. as if it had been a human breast. Monseigneur. and laid one of them on the carriage-door —tenderly. He is dead. Monseigneur looked out.’ ‘Well?’ ‘Monseigneur. ‘Monseigneur. ‘How.’ ‘Well! He is quiet. but was young. and could be expected to feel the appealing touch. no. by turns she clasped her veinous and knotted hands together with wild energy. then! What is it? Always petitions!’ ‘Monseigneur. hear my petition! My husband died of want. so many more will die of want. the forester.

that a morsel of stone or wood. they are so many. and more stars came out. ragged. the good God knows. to whom the mender of roads. By degrees. which lights. I shall be laid under some other heap of poor grass. with my husband’s name. Monseigneur. as the rain falls. the place will be quickly forgotten. was rapidly diminishing the league or two of distance that remained between him and his chateau. Otherwise. but I don’t ask it. and lights twinkled in little casements. My petition is. they increase so fast. as the casements darkened. the carriage had broken into a brisk trot. as long as they could bear it. The sweet scents of the summer night rose all around him. on the dusty. again escorted by the Furies.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Again. still enlarged upon his man like a spectre. there is so much want. the postilions had quickened the pace. with the aid of the blue cap without which he was nothing. they dropped off one by one. and toil-worn group at the fountain not far away. and Monseigneur. she was left far behind. impartially. 205 of 670 . Monseigneur! Monseigneur!’ The valet had put her away from the door. well? Can I feed them?’ ‘Monseigneur. and rose. as they could bear no more. it will never be found when I am dead of the same malady. may be placed over him to show where he lies.

’ 206 of 670 . was upon Monsieur the Marquis by that time. and the great door of his chateau was opened to him. as his carriage stopped. ‘Monsieur Charles. whom I expect. The shadow of a large high-roofed house. not yet.A Tale of Two Cities seemed to have shot up into the sky instead of having been extinguished. is he arrived from England?’ ‘Monseigneur. and the shadow was exchanged for the light of a flambeau. and of many over-hanging trees.

Up the broad flight of shallow steps. when it was finished. with a large stone courtyard before it. it was one of those dark nights that hold their breath by the hour 207 of 670 . for. that chateau of Monsieur the Marquis. Other sound than the owl’s voice there was none. instead of being in the open night-air. with heavy stone balustrades. and two stone sweeps of staircase meeting in a stone terrace before the principal door. As if the Gorgon’s head had surveyed it. save the failing of a fountain into its stone basin. A stony business altogether. Monsieur the Marquis. and stone heads of lions. in all directions. sufficiently disturbing the darkness to elicit loud remonstrance from an owl in the roof of the great pile of stable building away among the trees. and the other flambeau held at the great door. that the flambeau carried up the steps. two centuries ago. burnt as if they were in a close room of state. flambeau preceded. and stone faces of men. All else was so quiet. and stone flowers. went from his carriage. and stone urns.A Tale of Two Cities IX The Gorgon’s Head It was a heavy mass of building.

which were dark and made fast for the night. it was diversified by many objects that were illustrations of old pages in the history of France. Avoiding the larger rooms. great dogs upon the hearths for the burning of wood in winter time.A Tale of Two Cities together. This thrown open. and hold their breath again. The great door clanged behind him. The fashion of the last Louis but one. A small lofty room. with his flambeau-bearer going on before. with its 208 of 670 . but. High vaulted rooms with cool uncarpeted floors. in the third of the rooms. Monsieur the Marquis. of the line that was never to break —the fourteenth Louis—was conspicuous in their rich furniture. of which many a peasant. went up the staircase to a door in a corridor. grimmer with certain heavy riding-rods and riding-whips. admitted him to his own private apartment of three rooms: his bedchamber and two others. had felt the weight when his lord was angry. gone to his benefactor Death. and knives of the chase. A supper-table was laid for two. and Monsieur the Marquis crossed a hall grim with certain old boar-spears. a round room. and all luxuries befitting the state of a marquis in a luxurious age and country. swords. in one of the chateau’s four extinguisher-topped towers. and then heave a long low sigh.

‘Monseigneur? That?’ ‘Outside the blinds.’ It was done. alternating with their broad lines of stone colour. ‘My nephew. ‘they said he was not arrived.’ 209 of 670 . when he put it down. and the wooden jalousie-blinds closed.’ said the Marquis. The trees and the night are all that are here.’ In a quarter of an hour Monseigneur was ready.A Tale of Two Cities window wide open. leave the table as it is.’ Nor was he. and sat down alone to his sumptuous and choice supper. I shall be ready in a quarter of an hour. and he had taken his soup. ‘Ah! It is not probable he will arrive to-night. ‘What is that?’ he calmly asked. he had been expected with Monseigneur. glancing at the supper preparation. His chair was opposite to the window. ‘Well?’ ‘Monseigneur. looking with attention at the horizontal lines of black and stone colour. and was raising his glass of Bordeaux to his lips. Open the blinds. so that the dark night only showed in slight horizontal lines of black. nevertheless. but. it is nothing.

as being before him. ‘Close them again. hearing the sound of wheels. He was half way through it. and stood with that blank behind him. and came up to the front of the chateau. and that he was prayed to come to it. It came on briskly. when he again stopped with his glass in his hand.’ said the imperturbable master. He had been known in England as Charles Darnay. had looked out into the vacant darkness. He had heard of Monseigneur. He was to be told (said Monseigneur) that supper awaited him then and there. had thrown the blinds wide. In a little while he came. at the posting-houses. early in the afternoon.’ It was the nephew of Monseigneur. looking round for instructions.A Tale of Two Cities The servant who spoke. He had been some few leagues behind Monseigneur. but not so rapidly as to come up with Monseigneur on the road. but they did not shake hands.’ That was done too. He had diminished the distance rapidly. ‘Ask who is arrived. 210 of 670 . and the Marquis went on with his supper. ‘Good. Monseigneur received him in a courtly manner.

’ said the Marquis. the nephew. as he took his seat at table. And you?’ ‘I come direct. a long time intending the journey. So long as a servant was present. looking at the uncle and meeting the eyes of the face that was like a fine mask. sir?’ he said to Monseigneur.’ 211 of 670 . no other words passed between them.’ said the polished uncle. with a smile. I come direct. but it is a sacred object. sir.’ ‘I have been detained by’—the nephew stopped a moment in his answer—‘various business. ‘Yesterday.’ ‘Pardon me! I mean.A Tale of Two Cities ‘You left Paris yesterday. ‘On the contrary. opened a conversation.’ ‘You have been a long time coming.’ ‘From London?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Without doubt. It carried me into great and unexpected peril. not a long time on the journey. ‘I have come back. and if it had carried me to death I hope it would have sustained me. as you anticipate. pursuing the object that took me away. When coffee had been served and they were alone together.

‘whether. sir. I told you so. ‘I know that your diplomacy would stop me by any means. looked ominous as to that. the uncle made a graceful gesture of protest. glancing at him with deep distrust. no. to death.’ The deepened marks in the nose.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Not to death. long ago.’ ‘I recall it. pleasantly. ‘for anything I know.’ said the uncle. ‘But. ‘it is not necessary to say.’ ‘Thank you. ‘Do me the favour to recall that I told you so. and would know no scruple as to means.’ returned the nephew.’ pursued the nephew.’ said the Marquise—very sweetly indeed.’ said the uncle.’ said the uncle. no. you would have cared to stop me there.’ ‘I doubt. if it had carried me to the utmost brink of death. with a fine pulsation in the two marks. ‘Indeed.’ ‘No. however that may be. sir. and the lengthening of the fine straight lines in the cruel face. you may have expressly worked to give a more suspicious appearance to the suspicious circumstances that surrounded me.’ resumed the nephew. which was so clearly a slight form of good breeding that it was not reassuring.’ ‘My friend. 212 of 670 .

’ returned the uncle. as usual. I am. ‘I would not say happily. ‘Dare I ask you to explain?’ ‘I believe that if you were not in disgrace with the Court. might influence your destiny to far greater advantage than you influence it for yourself. my friend. a cold one. the Reception of the day before yesterday was. These little instruments of correction. Pray excuse me!’ ‘I perceive that. ‘In effect. with refined politeness. sir. A good opportunity for consideration. at a disadvantage. ‘I believe it to be at once your bad fortune.’ observed the nephew.’ said the uncle. happily for me. and had not been overshadowed by that cloud for years past.’ returned the uncle. and my good fortune. surrounded by the advantages of solitude. as you say. ‘I would not be sure of that. almost like the tone of a musical instrument.’ ‘I do not quite understand. that has kept me out of a prison in France here. sipping his coffee.’ pursued the nephew. with great calmness. ‘For the honour of the family. a letter de cachet would have sent me to some fortress indefinitely. I could even resolve to incommode you to that extent.A Tale of Two Cities His tone lingered in the air. these 213 of 670 . But it is useless to discuss the question.’ ‘It is possible.

both in the old time and in the modern time also. might (I do not go so far as to say would. but France in all such things is changed for the worse.A Tale of Two Cities gentle aids to the power and honour of families. ‘that I believe our name to be more detested than any name in France. and shook his head. and they are granted (comparatively) to so few! It used not to be so. these slight favours that might so incommode you. They are sought by so many. Our not remote ancestors held the right of life and death over the surrounding vulgar. was poniarded on the spot for professing some insolent delicacy respecting his daughter—HIS daughter? We have lost many privileges. very bad!’ The Marquis took a gentle little pinch of snuff. in the next room (my bedroom). but might) cause us real inconvenience. a new philosophy has become the mode. in these days. are only to be obtained now by interest and importunity. ‘We have so asserted our station. one fellow. and the assertion of our station. to our knowledge. All very bad. gloomily.’ said the nephew. many such dogs have been taken out to be hanged. as elegantly despondent as he could becomingly be of a country still containing himself. From this room. that great means of regeneration.’ 214 of 670 .

than was comportable with its wearer’s assumption of indifference. which looks at me with any deference on it but the dark deference of fear and slavery. could have been shown to him that night. leaning an elbow on the table. covered his eyes thoughtfully and dejectedly with his hand. ‘to the grandeur of the family. and dislike. closeness. If a picture of the chateau as it was to be a very few years hence.’ observed the Marquis. ‘Repression is the only lasting philosophy. in his former tone. ‘a face I can look at. the fine mask looked at him sideways with a stronger concentration of keenness. he 215 of 670 . as long as this roof. ‘Detestation of the high is the involuntary homage of the low. merited by the manner in which the family has sustained its grandeur. Hah!’ And he took another gentle little pinch of snuff. The dark deference of fear and slavery. ‘shuts out the sky. and of fifty like it as they too were to be a very few years hence. my friend. ‘will keep the dogs obedient to the whip.’ ‘There is not.’ pursued the nephew.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Let us hope so. and lightly crossed his legs. when his nephew. in all this country round about us.’ said the uncle.’ That might not be so long as the Marquis supposed. But.’ ‘A compliment.’ said the Marquis.’ looking up to it.

if you will not. in such different ways. ‘I will preserve the honour and repose of the family. But you must be fatigued. from the eyes of the bodies into which its lead was fired. and are reaping the fruits of wrong. then to himself. whose honour is of so much account to both of us.A Tale of Two Cities might have been at a loss to claim his own from the ghastly. and delicately pointing. when it is equally yours? Can I separate my 216 of 670 . As for the roof he vaunted. if you please. out of the barrels of a hundred thousand muskets. fire-charred. Shall we terminate our conference for the night?’ ‘A moment more.’ ‘An hour.’ said the nephew.’ ‘WE have done wrong?’ repeated the Marquis. he might have found THAT shutting out the sky in a new way—to wit. first to his nephew.’ said the Marquis.’ ‘Sir. with an inquiring smile. injuring every human creature who came between us and our pleasure. ‘Meanwhile. Why need I speak of my father’s time. ‘we have done wrong. ‘Our family. our honourable family. we did a world of wrong. whatever it was. Even in my father’s time. for ever. plunder-wrecked rains.

with which. from himself?’ ‘Death has done that!’ said the Marquis. as though his finger were the fine point of a small sword. I will die. but powerless in it. joint inheritor. seeking to execute the last request of my dear mother’s lips. perpetuating the system under which I have lived.’ said the Marquis. be assured. with his snuff-box in his hand. and obey the last look of my dear mother’s eyes.’ answered the nephew. he ran him through the body.’ ‘Seeking them from me.A Tale of Two Cities father’s twin-brother.’ Every fine straight line in the clear whiteness of his face. my nephew.’ 217 of 670 . responsible for it. and next successor. in delicate finesse. craftily. Once again he touched him on the breast. ‘My friend. touching him on the breast with his forefinger—they were now standing by the hearth—‘you will for ever seek them in vain. ‘bound to a system that is frightful to me. while he stood looking quietly at his nephew. ‘And has left me. and said. and tortured by seeking assistance and power in vain. was cruelly. and closely compressed. which implored me to have mercy and to redress.

and by the daylight. extortion. But you are lost. to claim it yet. is it yet?’ ‘I had no intention. but. here. If it passed to me from you. I prefer that supposition. It is little to relinquish.’ said the nephew.’ ‘Are they both yours to renounce? France may be.’ ‘—I would abandon it. Monsieur Charles. mismanagement. 218 of 670 . under the sky. ‘Better to be a rational creature. and live otherwise and elsewhere. ‘and accept your natural destiny. ‘still.’ ‘This property and France are lost to me. I see.A Tale of Two Cities When he had said it. ‘I renounce them.’ said the Marquis. but seen in its integrity. to-morrow—‘ ‘Which I have the vanity to hope is not probable. What is it but a wilderness of misery and ruin!’ ‘Hah!’ said the Marquis. in the words I used.’ he added then. ‘To the eye it is fair enough. glancing round the luxurious room. sadly.’ ‘—or twenty years hence—‘ ‘You do me too much honour. after ringing a small bell on the table. he took a culminating pinch of snuff. and put his box in his pocket. but is the property? It is scarcely worth mentioning. it is a crumbling tower of waste.

The family name can suffer from me in no other. and suffering. and on all this land. even with nobility at their backs. to live. in another generation. ‘If it ever becomes mine. mortgage. nakedness.’ ‘And you?’ said the uncle. what others of my countrymen. so that the miserable people who cannot leave it and who have been long wrung to the last point of endurance. may have to do some day-work. suffer less. it shall be put into some hands better qualified to free it slowly (if such a thing is possible) from the weight that drags it down. under your new philosophy. but it is not for me.’ ‘In England. for example?’ ‘Yes. through the 219 of 670 . hunger. There is a curse on it. sir. may. The family honour. in a well-satisfied manner.’ The ringing of the bell had caused the adjoining bedchamber to be lighted.’ ‘Hah!’ said the Marquis again. is safe from me in this country. ‘Forgive my curiosity. graciously intend to live?’ ‘I must do. do you.A Tale of Two Cities debt. for I bear it in no other. It now shone brightly. oppression.

seeing how indifferently you have prospered there. those boastful English. I am sensible I may be indebted to you. You know a compatriot who has found a Refuge there? A Doctor?’ ‘Yes. curved with a sarcasm that looked handsomely diabolic. and he conveyed an air of mystery to those words.’ ‘Yes. sir. ‘England is very attractive to you. At the same time. turning his calm face to his nephew with a smile.’ he observed then.’ said the Marquis. The Marquis looked that way. ‘I have already said.’ ‘With a daughter?’ ‘Yes. Good night!’ As he bent his head in his most courtly manner. and listened for the retreating step of his valet. the thin straight lines of the setting of the eyes. For the rest. that it is the Refuge of many. it is my Refuge. that for my prospering there. and the thin straight lips.’ ‘They say. and the markings in the nose. ‘You are fatigued. which struck the eyes and ears of his nephew forcibly. there was a secrecy in his smiling face.A Tale of Two Cities door of communication. 220 of 670 .

’ he added to himself. ‘Good night!’ said the uncle. the slow toil up the hill 221 of 670 . if you will. he moved like a refined tiger:—looked like some enchanted marquis of the impenitently wicked sort. or just coming on. in story. ‘I look to the pleasure of seeing you again in the morning. whose periodical change into tiger form was either just going off. to prepare himself gently for sleep. and summoned his valet to his own bedroom. that hot still night. Yes.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Yes. in passing on to the door. He moved from end to end of his voluptuous bedroom. Monsieur the Marquis walked to and fro in his loose chamber-robe. ‘A Doctor with a daughter. his softly-slippered feet making no noise on the floor. So commences the new philosophy! You are fatigued. Rustling about the room. The nephew looked at him. Good night!’ It would have been of as much avail to interrogate any stone face outside the chateau as to interrogate that face of his. Good repose! Light Monsieur my nephew to his chamber there!—And burn Monsieur my nephew in his bed. before he rang his little bell again. The valet come and gone. looking again at the scraps of the day’s journey that came unbidden into his mind.’ repeated the Marquis. in vain.

‘Dead!’ ‘I am cool now. the setting sun. For three heavy hours. the descent. and heard the night break its silence with a long sigh as he composed himself to sleep. leaving only one light burning on the large hearth. and the tall man with his arms up. ‘and may go to bed. Dead darkness lay on all the landscape. the dogs barked. lion and human. The stone faces on the outer walls stared blindly at the black night for three heavy hours. stared blindly at the night. dead darkness added its own hush 222 of 670 . he let his thin gauze curtains fall around him. the mill. That fountain suggested the Paris fountain. for three heavy hours. crying. But it is the obstinate custom of such creatures hardly ever to say what is set down for them.’ said Monsieur the Marquis.’ So. the little village in the hollow. and the mender of roads with his blue cap pointing out the chain under the carriage.A Tale of Two Cities at sunset. the stone faces of the chateau. and the owl made a noise with very little resemblance in it to the noise conventionally assigned to the owl by men-poets. the prison on the crag. the women bending over it. the horses in the stables rattled at their racks. the little bundle lying on the step. the peasants at the fountain.

as the driven slave and the yoked ox may. like the minutes that were falling from the spring of Time— through three dark hours. its lean inhabitants slept soundly. In the glow.chamber of Monsieur the Marquis. and. the water of the chateau fountain seemed to turn to blood. Dreaming. and the eyes of the stone faces of the chateau were opened. and the fountain at the chateau dropped unseen and unheard—both melting away. taxers and taxed were fast asleep. of banquets. and poured its radiance over the hill. The fountain in the village flowed unseen and unheard. The burial-place had got to the pass that its little heaps of poor grass were undistinguishable from one another. until at last the sun touched the tops of the still trees. the grey water of both began to be ghostly in the light. At this. and the stone faces crimsoned. Lighter and lighter. and of ease and rest. Then. the nearest stone face seemed to stare 223 of 670 . In the village. and were fed and freed.A Tale of Two Cities to the hushing dust on all the roads. on the weather-beaten sill of the great window of the bed. The carol of the birds was loud and high. perhaps. the figure on the Cross might have come down. for anything that could be seen of it. one little bird sang its sweetest song with all its might. as the starved usually do.

crazy doors were unbarred. the led cow. men and women there. some. Some. Now. had gleamed trenchant in the morning sunshine. the lonely boar-spears and knives of the chase had been reddened as of old. and. and lead the bony cows out. to dig and delve. but awoke gradually and surely. and people came forth shivering—chilled. a kneeling figure or two. men and women here. In the church and at the Cross.A Tale of Two Cities amazed. and movement began in the village. as yet. attendant on the latter prayers. Then began the rarely lightened toil of the day among the village population. leaves sparkled and rustled at iron-grated windows. to the fields. horses in their stables looked round over their shoulders at the light and freshness pouring in at doorways. now. 224 of 670 . to the fountain. the sun was full up. to such pasture as could be found by the roadside. by the new sweet air. dogs pulled hard at their chains. then. to see to the poor live stock. with open mouth and dropped under-jaw. looked awe-stricken. Casement windows opened. doors and windows were thrown open. trying for a breakfast among the weeds at its foot. as became its quality. First. The chateau awoke later. and reared impatient to be loosed.

and whispering low. hastily brought in and tethered to anything that would hold them. All the people of the village were at the fountain. nor the running up and down the stairs. but showing no other emotions than grim curiosity and surprise.A Tale of Two Cities All these trivial incidents belonged to the routine of life. with his day’s dinner (not much to carry) lying in a bundle that it was worth no crow’s while to peck at. as if for his life. and some of those of the posting-house. and all the taxing 225 of 670 . the mender of roads ran. nor the hurried figures on the terrace. nor the booting and tramping here and there and everywhere. which they had picked up in their interrupted saunter. nor the quick saddling of horses and riding away? What winds conveyed this hurry to the grizzled mender of roads. Surely. carrying some grains of it to a distance. were looking stupidly on. already at work on the hill-top beyond the village. and never stopped till he got to the fountain. and the return of morning. on the sultry morning. dropped one over him as they sow chance seeds? Whether or no. The led cows. on a heap of stones? Had the birds. not so the ringing of the great bell of the chateau. standing about in their depressed manner. knee-high in dust. down the hill. or lying down chewing the cud of nothing particularly repaying their trouble. Some of the people of the chateau.

and was smiting himself in the breast with his blue cap.’ 226 of 670 . Already. the stone face for which it had waited through about two hundred years. the mender of roads had penetrated into the midst of a group of fifty particular friends. and were crowded on the other side of the little street in a purposeless way. that was highly fraught with nothing. on which was scrawled: ‘Drive him fast to his tomb. was a knife.A Tale of Two Cities authorities. from Jacques. It lay back on the pillow of Monsieur the Marquis. made angry. The Gorgon had surveyed the building again in the night. at a gallop. and petrified. Round its hilt was a frill of paper. It was like a fine mask. were armed more or less. and the conveying away of the said Gabelle (double-laden though the horse was). up at the chateau. suddenly startled. and had added the one stone face wanting. What did all this portend. and what portended the swift hoisting-up of Monsieur Gabelle behind a servant on horseback. This. Driven home into the heart of the stone figure attached to it. like a new version of the German ballad of Leonora? It portended that there was one stone face too many.

he was a Tutor. to turn cooks and carpenters. and those were of ever227 of 670 . he would have been a Professor.A Tale of Two Cities X Two Promises More months. to the number of twelve. and he cultivated a taste for its stores of knowledge and fancy. and render them into sound English. As a tutor. and no ruined nobility had dropped out of Tellson’s ledgers. besides. whose attainments made the student’s way unusually pleasant and profitable. young Mr. and Mr. In this age. Princes that had been. in that age. Charles Darnay was established in England as a higher teacher of the French language who was conversant with French literature. He read with young men who could find any leisure and interest for the study of a living tongue spoken all over the world. with the circumstances of his country. more-over. and Kings that were to be. He could write of them. were not yet of the Teacher class. had come and gone. in sound English. Darnay soon became known and encouraged. Such masters were not at that time easily found. and as an elegant translator who brought something to his work besides mere dictionary knowledge. He was well acquainted.

his prosperity consisted. In London. A certain portion of his time was passed at Cambridge. he had never seen a face so tenderly beautiful. and he found it. He had loved Lucie Manette from the hour of his danger. nor to lie on beds of roses.A Tale of Two Cities growing interest. he had expected neither to walk on pavements of gold. In this. and did it and made the best of it. to these days when it is mostly winter in fallen latitudes. as hers when it was confronted with his own on the edge of the grave that had been dug 228 of 670 . So. with great perseverance and untiring industry. he would not have prospered. He had never heard a sound so sweet and dear as the sound of her compassionate voice. the world of a man has invariably gone one way—Charles Darnay’s way—the way of the love of a woman. He had expected labour. where he read with undergraduates as a sort of tolerated smuggler who drove a contraband trade in European languages. he prospered. from the days when it was always summer in Eden. Now. if he had had any such exalted expectation. The rest of his time he passed in London. instead of conveying Greek and Latin through the Custom-house.

he turned into the quiet corner in Soho. and he had never yet. He found the Doctor reading in his arm-chair at a window. this had never been frequently observable. dusty roads—the solid stone chateau which had itself become the mere mist of a dream—had been done a year. lately arrived in London from his college occupation.A Tale of Two Cities for him. and vigour of action. It was the close of the summer day. bent on seeking an opportunity of opening his mind to Doctor Manette. he knew full well. disclosed to her the state of his heart. But. The energy which had at once supported him under his old sufferings and aggravated their sharpness. had been gradually restored to him. he had not yet spoken to her on the subject. strength of resolution. but. In his recovered energy he was sometimes a little fitful and sudden. That he had his reasons for this. and had grown more and more rare. tong. with great firmness of purpose. and he knew Lucie to be out with Miss Pross. He was now a very energetic man indeed. by so much as a single spoken word. the assassination at the deserted chateau far away beyond the heaving water and the long. It was again a summer day when. 229 of 670 . as he had at first been in the exercise of his other recovered faculties.

slept little.’ said the Doctor. and speak on. Stryver and Sydney Carton were both here yesterday.’ he answered. now entered Charles Darnay. but appeared to find the speaking on less easy. but will soon be home. I knew she was from home. of being so intimate here. a little coldly as to them. ‘I have had the happiness. ‘Miss Manette—‘ ‘Is well. as he stopped short. ‘and your return will delight us all. ‘for some year and a 230 of 670 .’ ‘I am obliged to them for their interest in the matter. I took the opportunity of her being from home.’ so he at length began. though very warmly as to the Doctor. at sight of whom he laid aside his book and held out his hand.A Tale of Two Cities He studied much. to beg to speak to you.’ There was a blank silence. We have been counting on your return these three or four days past.’ ‘Doctor Manette. and was equably cheerful. and both made you out to be more than due. Mr. She has gone out on some household matters. with evident constraint. sustained a great deal of fatigue with ease.’ He complied as to the chair. ‘Yes?’ said the Doctor. To him. Doctor Manette. ‘Bring your chair here. ‘Charles Darnay! I rejoice to see you.

’ ‘It is a tone of fervent admiration. There was another blank silence before her father rejoined: ‘I believe it. he said. too. When he had kept it so a little while. drawing it back: ‘Is Lucie the topic?’ ‘She is. and the hopes and fears 231 of 670 . I believe it.’ His constraint was so manifest. It is very hard for me to hear her spoken of in that tone of yours. sir?’ Another blank. ‘Shall I go on. that I hope the topic on which I am about to touch may not—‘ He was stayed by the Doctor’s putting out his hand to stop him.’ ‘You anticipate what I would say. Doctor Manette!’ he said deferentially. and it was so manifest. and deep love. ‘Yes.A Tale of Two Cities half.’ ‘It is hard for me to speak of her at any time. that it originated in an unwillingness to approach the subject. though you cannot know how earnestly I say it. Charles Darnay. true homage. without knowing my secret heart. go on. how earnestly I feel it. that Charles Darnay hesitated. I do you justice.

hurriedly. after some moments. devotedly. you may be satisfied of it. dearly.A Tale of Two Cities and anxieties with which it has long been laden. I love your daughter fondly. and it seemed to be an appeal to Darnay to pause. that it rang in Charles Darnay’s ears long after he had ceased. sir! Let that be! I adjure you.’ He turned towards him in his chair. He motioned with the hand he had extended.’ said the Doctor. ‘I do not doubt your loving Lucie. let your old love speak for me!’ The Doctor sat with his face turned away. and remained silent. or raise his eyes. but did not look at him. he stretched out his hand again. I love her. and his white hair overshadowed his face: ‘Have you spoken to Lucie?’ ‘No. and cried: ‘Not that. If ever there were love in the world. Dear Doctor Manette. do not recall that!’ His cry was so like a cry of actual pain. You have loved yourself. in a subdued tone. At the last words. and his eyes bent on the ground.’ ‘Nor written?’ 232 of 670 . ‘I ask your pardon. His chin dropped upon his hand. The latter so received it. disinterestedly.

united to the trustfulness and attachment of the early days in which you were lost to her. so touching. respectfully. with a more sacred character than that in which you are always with her. ‘I know. in her sight. I know. but his eyes did not go with it.’ said Darnay. all the love and reliance of infancy itself. 233 of 670 . so she is now devoted to you with all the constancy and fervour of her present years and character. even in the tenderness between a father and child. I know that when she is clinging to you. you could hardly be invested. He offered his hand.’ ‘It would be ungenerous to affect not to know that your self-denial is to be referred to your consideration for her father. as in her childhood she had no parent. there is. Her father thanks you. towards you. girl. I know perfectly well that if you had been restored to her from the world beyond this life. and woman. I who have seen you together from day to day. mingled with the affection and duty of a daughter who has become a woman. Doctor Manette. so belonging to the circumstances in which it has been nurtured. that between you and Miss Manette there is an affection so unusual. Doctor Manette—how can I fail to know—that. the hands of baby.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Never. ‘how can I fail to know. in her heart. I know that. that it can have few parallels.

Heaven is my witness that I love her!’ ‘I believe it. being one day so happy as to make her my wife. since I have known you in your home.’ said Darnay.’ answered her father. and forborne. do not believe. are round your neck.’ ‘But. always knowing this. as long as it was in the nature of man to do it. Besides that I should know it to 234 of 670 . loves you through your dreadful trial and in your blessed restoration. I could or would breathe a word of what I now say. ‘I have thought so before now. ‘that if my fortune were so cast as that. I have forborne.A Tale of Two Cities all in one. upon whose ear the mournful voice struck with a reproachful sound. and do even now feel. mournfully. loves her mother broken-hearted. I believe it. sees and loves you at my age. night and day. I have felt. ‘Dear Doctor Manette.’ Her father sat silent. that to bring my love—even mine—between you. I have known this. I know that in loving you she sees and loves her mother at her own age. with his face bent down. is to touch your history with something not quite so good as itself. always seeing her and you with this hallowed light about you. But I love her. I must at any time put any separation between her and you. His breathing was a little quickened. but he repressed all other signs of agitation.

a voluntary exile from France. I look only to sharing your fortunes. but not coldly. and miseries. and looked up for the first time since the beginning of the conference. like you. companion. dear Doctor Manette. driven from it by its distractions. like you. ‘You speak so feelingly and so manfully. ‘No. Charles Darnay. and will open 235 of 670 .’ His touch still lingered on her father’s hand. If I had any such possibility. and hidden in my heart—if it ever had been there—if it ever could be there—I could not now touch this honoured hand. her father rested his hands upon the arms of his chair. that I thank you with all my heart. a struggle with that occasional look which had a tendency in it to dark doubt and dread. and trusting in a happier future. and friend. and bind her closer to you.A Tale of Two Cities be hopeless. I should know it to be a baseness. but to come in aid of it.’ He laid his own upon it as he spoke. sharing your life and home. harboured in my thoughts. Like you. and being faithful to you to the death. Answering the touch for a moment. Not to divide with Lucie her privilege as your child. striving to live away from it by my own exertions. even at a remote distance of years. oppressions. A struggle was evidently in his face. if such a thing can be.

that a word from her father in any suitor’s favour. I might not have the hopefulness to do it for weeks. without you. sir. even if Miss Manette held me at this moment in her innocent heart-do not think I have the presumption to assume so much— I could retain no place in it against her love for her father.’ ‘Is it the immediate object of this confidence. Have you any reason to believe that Lucie loves you?’ ‘None. would outweigh herself and all the 236 of 670 . I might (mistaken or not mistaken) have that hopefulness to-morrow. As yet. to give me some. that you may at once ascertain that. with my knowledge?’ ‘Not even so.’ ‘Do you seek any guidance from me?’ ‘I ask none.A Tale of Two Cities all my heart—or nearly so. none. do you see what. if you should deem it right. But I have thought it possible that you might have it in your power. I could have no hope. is involved in it?’ ‘I understand equally well.’ ‘Do you seek any promise from me?’ ‘I do seek that.’ ‘What is it?’ ‘I well understand that. I well understand that.’ ‘If that be so. on the other hand.

and to your belief in it. sir. ‘Is sought by any other suitor?’ ‘It is what I meant to say. it can only be by one of these. they are subtle and delicate. Mr. you will bear testimony to what I have said. such a confidence as I have ventured to lay before you. such a mystery to me. My daughter Lucie is.’ ‘May I ask. I should not think either. Carton here. occasionally. as to urge no influence 237 of 670 .’ ‘I am sure of it. For which reason.’ said Darnay. yourself.A Tale of Two Cities world. If it be at all. You want a promise from me. modestly but firmly. in this one respect. ‘I had not thought of both. to save my life. likely.’ ‘Or both. mysteries arise out of close love. if you think she is—’ As he hesitated. on her own part. Charles Darnay. I hope you may be able to think so well of me.’ Her father considered a little before he answered: ‘You have seen Mr. in the former case. ‘I would not ask that word. as well as out of wide division. Stryver is here too. that if Miss Manette should bring to you at any time. I can make no guess at the state of her heart. her father supplied the rest. Tell me what it is.’ said Darnay.’ ‘It is. Doctor Manette. and difficult to penetrate.

any apprehensions. The condition on which I ask it. as you have stated it.’ ‘I give the promise. I believe your intention is to perpetuate. and not to weaken. I say nothing more of my stake in this. against the man she really loved—the direct responsibility thereof not lying on his head—they should all be obliterated for her sake. more to me than wrong. any reasons. and which you have an undoubted right to require. If there were—Charles Darnay. I will give her to you. more to me than suffering. if there were—‘ The young man had taken his hand gratefully. 238 of 670 . that Darnay felt his own hand turn cold in the hand that slowly released and dropped it. purely and truthfully.’ So strange was the way in which he faded into silence. more to me—Well! This is idle talk. I will observe immediately.’ said the Doctor. I believe your object to be. new or old. anything whatsoever. their hands were joined as the Doctor spoke: ‘—any fancies. She is everything to me. ‘without any condition. and so strange his fixed look when he had ceased to speak. If she should ever tell me that you are essential to her perfect happiness. the ties between me and my other and far dearer self.A Tale of Two Cities against me. this is what I ask.

and it is better she should not see us together to-night. ‘I wish it. for another instant. ‘What was it you said to me?’ He was at a loss how to answer. he answered: ‘Your confidence in me ought to be returned with full confidence on my part. not now. you shall tell me on your marriage morning. that I may the better deserve your confidence. and have no secret from you.’ said Doctor Manette. Do you promise?’ ‘Willingly. as you will remember. If your suit should prosper.A Tale of Two Cities ‘You said something to me. ‘Tell me when I ask you. though but slightly changed from my mother’s. my own. and why I am in England. I wish to tell you what that is. breaking into a smile.’ ‘Stop!’ said the Doctor of Beauvais. until he remembered having spoken of a condition. ‘Give me your hand. Relieved as his mind reverted to that. Go! God bless you!’ 239 of 670 . is not. She will be home directly. My present name. even had his two hands laid on Darnay’s lips. the Doctor even had his two hands at his ears. if Lucie should love you.’ ‘Stop!’ For an instant.

and his tray of shoemaking tools. with her blood all chilled. and tapped at his door. She came down from her bed. ‘Father dear!’ Nothing was said in answer. and softly called to him. ‘My father!’ she called to him. He slept heavily. crying to herself. ‘What shall I do! What shall I do!’ Her uncertainty lasted but a moment. The noise ceased at the sound of her voice. but she heard a low hammering sound in his bedroom. were all as usual. and his old unfinished work. and he presently came out to her. she hurried into the room alone— for Miss Pross had gone straight up-stairs—and was surprised to find his readingchair empty. Passing lightly across the intermediate room. to look at him in his sleep that night. 240 of 670 . and it was an hour later and darker when Lucie came home. she looked in at his door and came running back frightened. she hurried back.A Tale of Two Cities It was dark when Charles Darnay left him. and they walked up and down together for a long time.

and fogs legal. Sydney was none the livelier and none the soberer for so much application. as he now pulled his turban off and threw it into the basin in which he had steeped it at intervals for the last six hours. ‘mix another bowl of punch. a correspondingly extra quantity of wine had preceded the towelling. Stryver. everything was got rid of until November should come with its fogs atmospheric. on that self-same night. It had taken a deal of extra wettowelling to pull him through the night. and bring grist to the mill again.A Tale of Two Cities XI A Companion Picture ‘Sydney. The clearance was effected at last.’ said Mr. making a grand clearance among Mr. and a good many nights in succession.’ Sydney had been working double tides that night. and the night before. Stryver’s papers before the setting in of the long vacation. I have something to say to you. or morning. and the night before that. 241 of 670 . to his jackal. and he was in a very damaged condition. the Stryver arrears were handsomely fetched up.

‘And you.’ ‘Do I know her?’ ‘Guess. busy concocting the punch. Who is she?’ ‘Guess. look here! I am going to tell you something that will rather surprise you. coming slowly into a sitting posture. you must ask me to dinner. because you are such an insensible dog.’ ‘DO you?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Well then. I’ll tell you. at five o’clock in the morning.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Are you mixing that other bowl of punch?’ said Stryver the portly.’ ‘Now. ‘I am. I rather despair of making myself intelligible to you. I intend to marry. said Stryver. And not for money. with my brains frying and sputtering in my head. if you want me to guess. glancing round from the sofa where he lay on his back. with his hands in his waistband. and that perhaps will make you think me not quite as shrewd as you usually do think me.’ returned Sydney. ‘Sydney. ‘are such a sensitive and poetical spirit—‘ 242 of 670 .’ ‘I am not going to guess. What do you say now?’ ‘I don’t feel disposed to say much.

You’ve been at Doctor Manette’s house as much as I have.’ ‘I don’t mean that. shaking his head in his bullying way.’ said Stryver. ‘though I don’t prefer any claim to being the soul of Romance (for I hope I know better). ‘No. laughing boastfully. than you do. still I am a tenderer sort of fellow than YOU.’ said Stryver. I have been ashamed of you.’ suggested Carton. in a woman’s society. upon my life and soul. if you mean that.’ ‘You are a luckier. or more than I have. My meaning is that I am a man. Sydney!’ 243 of 670 . ‘who cares more to be agreeable. who knows better how to be agreeable. I mean I am a man of more— more—‘ ‘Say gallantry. who takes more pains to be agreeable. while you are about it. I’ll have this out with you. that. I have been ashamed of your moroseness there! Your manners have been of that silent and sullen and hangdog kind. Why. ‘Well! I’ll say gallantry.’ ‘Go on.’ said Sydney Carton. but before I go on. inflating himself at his friend as he made the punch.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Come!’ rejoined Stryver.

’ Sydney drank a bumper of the punch he had made. ‘I wish you would keep to that.’ muttered Carton.’ answered Carton. being more independent in circumstances.’ rejoined Stryver.A Tale of Two Cities ‘It should be very beneficial to a man in your practice at the bar. ‘no. ‘you ought to be much obliged to me. 244 of 670 . delivered in no very soothing tone. shouldering the rejoinder at him.’ was his friend’s answer.’ ‘You don’t get on with your account of your matrimonial intentions. ‘I do it because it’s politic. and laughed. ‘You have no business to be incorrigible. You are a disagreeable fellow. As to me—will you never understand that I am incorrigible?’ He asked the question with some appearance of scorn. Why do I do it?’ ‘I never saw you do it yet. ‘I have less need to make myself agreeable than you have. I do it on principle. And look at me! I get on. ‘Look at me!’ said Stryver. with a careless air. to be ashamed of anything.’ ‘You shall not get off in that way. Sydney. squaring himself.’ returned Sydney. it’s my duty to tell you—and I tell you to your face to do you good— that you are a devilish ill-conditioned fellow in that sort of society.

Sydney. and in these chambers. who had no eye for pictures: or of a piece of music of mine. I make this little preface. who had no ear for music.’ ‘I did?’ ‘Certainly. than I should be annoyed by a man’s opinion of a picture of mine. I might have been a little resentful of your employing such a designation.’ 245 of 670 . Stryver.’ Sydney Carton looked at his punch and looked at his complacent friend. ‘Who is the lady?’ ‘Now.’ said Mr. Sydney. drank his punch and looked at his complacent friend. preparing him with ostentatious friendliness for the disclosure he was about to make.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I have no business to be. ‘You made mention of the young lady as a goldenhaired doll. therefore I am no more annoyed when I think of the expression. The young lady is Miss Manette. If you had been a fellow of any sensitiveness or delicacy of feeling in that kind of way. it would be of no importance. because you once mentioned the young lady to me in slighting terms. but you are not. that I know of. at all. ‘because I know you don’t mean half you say.’ said Sydney Carton. You want that sense altogether. don’t let my announcement of the name make you uncomfortable. and if you meant it all.

and a man of some distinction: it is a piece of good fortune for her. and are less mercenary on my behalf than I thought you would be. to be sure. Stryver. looking at his friend. he can stay away).’ said Mr. ‘Why should I not approve?’ ‘Well!’ said his friend Stryver. I feel that it is a pleasant thing for a man to have a home when he feels inclined to go to it (when he doesn’t. but she is worthy of good fortune. ‘you take it more easily than I fancied you would. Yes. Sydney. and I have made up my mind to please myself: on the whole. Are you astonished?’ Carton. rejoined. still drinking the punch. still drinking the punch. you know well enough by this time that your ancient chum is a man of a pretty strong will. ‘Why should I be astonished?’ ‘You approve?’ Carton. I have had enough of this style of life. drank it by bumpers. and I feel that Miss Manette will tell 246 of 670 . and a rapidly rising man. She will have in me a man already pretty well off. ‘Now you know all about it. though. ‘I don’t care about fortune: she is a charming creature.A Tale of Two Cities Sydney Carton drank the punch at a great rate. with no other as a change from it. I think I can afford to please myself. Syd. rejoined.

Never mind your having no enjoyment of women’s society.A Tale of Two Cities well in any station. you know. you live hard. you really ought to think about a nurse. ‘Now. or lodging-letting way— and marry her. against a rainy day. in my different way. 247 of 670 .’ The prosperous patronage with which he said it. Provide somebody to take care of you. So I have made up my mind. Marry. I want to say a word to YOU about YOUR prospects.’ pursued Stryver. That’s the kind of thing for YOU. and be ill and poor. you really are in a bad way. And now. nor understanding of it. look it in the face. Find out somebody. Sydney. You don’t know the value of money. I have looked it in the face.’ ‘I’ll think of it. you’ll knock up one of these days. You are in a bad way. made him look twice as big as he was. you. Sydney. old boy. Now think of it. nor tact for it. Find out some respectable woman with a little property— somebody in the landlady way.’ said Sydney. and four times as offensive. ‘to look it in the face. and will always do me credit. let me recommend you. in your different way.

Argued with the jury on substantial worldly grounds—the only grounds ever worth taking into account— it was a plain case. he had not a doubt about it. resolved to make her happiness known to her before he left town for the Long Vacation. As to the strength of his case. he came to the conclusion that it would be as well to get all the preliminaries done with. After trying it.. and they could then arrange at their leisure whether he should give her his hand a week or two before Michaelmas Term. or in the little Christmas vacation between it and Hilary. After some mental debating of the point. He called himself for the plaintiff. J. the counsel for the defendant threw up his brief. Stryver having made up his mind to that magnanimous bestowal of good fortune on the Doctor’s daughter. 248 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities XII The Fellow of Delicacy Mr. and had not a weak spot in it. and the jury did not even turn to consider. there was no getting over his evidence. was satisfied that no plainer case could be. C. Stryver. but clearly saw his way to the verdict.

he pushed open the door with the weak rattle in its throat. Mr. Mr. 249 of 670 . and shouldered himself into the musty back closet where Mr. So. might have seen how safe and strong he was. Towards Soho. Stryver’s mind to enter the bank. Lorry as the intimate friend of the Manettes. that failing. while the bloom of the Long Vacation’s infancy was still upon it. Stryver shouldered his way from the Temple. bursting in his fullblown way along the pavement. Stryver inaugurated the Long Vacation with a formal proposal to take Miss Manette to Vauxhall Gardens. Anybody who had seen him projecting himself into Soho while he was yet on Saint Dunstan’s side of Temple Bar. with perpendicular iron bars to his window as if that were ruled for figures too. and he both banking at Tellson’s and knowing Mr. and there declare his noble mind. got past the two ancient cashiers. it behoved him to present himself in Soho. Lorry sat at great books ruled for figures. it entered Mr.A Tale of Two Cities Accordingly. and reveal to Mr. His way taking him past Tellson’s. stumbled down the two steps. Lorry the brightness of the Soho horizon. to Ranelagh. that unaccountably failing too. to the jostlement of all weaker people. therefore. and everything under the clouds were a sum.

‘Why. Lorry. I have come for a private word. Stryver. Stryver?’ asked Mr. 250 of 670 . Lorry.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Halloa!’ said Mr. as though he squeezed them against the wall. Stryver? How do you do. sir?’ and shook hands. ‘Can I do anything for you. as if the Stryver head had been butted into its responsible waistcoat. this is a private visit to yourself. He shook in a self-abnegating way. in a sample tone of the voice he would recommend under the circumstances. lowered displeased. Lorry said. no.’ ‘Oh indeed!’ said Mr. ‘How do you do. as one who shook for Tellson and Co. There was a peculiarity in his manner of shaking hands. He was so much too big for Tellson’s. that old clerks in distant corners looked up with looks of remonstrance. Mr. The House itself. thank you. The discreet Mr. in his business character. while his eye strayed to the House afar off. always to be seen in any clerk at Tellson’s who shook hands with a customer when the House pervaded the air. magnificently reading the paper quite in the far-off perspective. ‘How do you do? I hope you are well!’ It was Stryver’s grand peculiarity that he always seemed too big for any place. or space. Lorry. bending down his ear. Mr. Mr.

Miss Manette.’ ‘Oh dear me!’ cried Mr. opening his eyes wider. and bit the feather of a pen. ‘if I understand you. ‘Oh dear me. and taking a long breath. Lorry. and that it does you the greatest credit. sir? What may your meaning be. Lorry paused. Mr. sir?’ repeated Stryver. I’ll be hanged!’ Mr. Mr. and looking at his visitor dubiously. Mr. you know.’ answered the man of business. rubbing his chin. slapping the desk with his contentious hand.’ said Mr. ‘is. friendly and appreciative. Lorry adjusted his little wig at both ears as a means towards that end. But—really. and— in short. Lorry. drawing back. Lorry?’ ‘My meaning.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I am going. there appeared to be not half desk enough for him: ‘I am going to make an offer of myself in marriage to your agreeable little friend. internally. although it was a large double one. ‘you know there really is so much too much of you!’ ‘Well!’ said Stryver. as if he were compelled against his will to add. Mr. Stryver—’ Mr. leaning his arms confidentially on the desk: whereupon. my meaning is everything you could desire. Stryver. 251 of 670 . ‘Oh dear you. of course. and shook his head at him in the oddest manner. Lorry.

‘And advancing?’ ‘If you come to advancing you know. with a plump of his fist on the desk. ‘Well! I—Were you going there now?’ asked Mr.’ ‘Am I not prosperous?’ asked Stryver. I’ll put you in a corner. you’re eligible!’ said Mr. ‘Straight!’ said Stryver. you are eligible. Lorry.’ ‘Why?’ said Stryver. Why wouldn’t you go?’ 252 of 670 . if I was you. Oh yes. you are prosperous. Lorry. ‘Now. ‘nobody can doubt that. Lorry. Mr. delighted to be able to make another admission.’ said Mr. ‘am I not eligible?’ ‘Oh dear yes! Yes. Lorry?’ demanded Stryver.’ forensically shaking a forefinger at him. Lorry. staring at him. ‘If you say eligible.A Tale of Two Cities ‘D—n it all.’ said Mr. ‘Oh! if you come to prosperous. ‘You are a man of business and bound to have a reason. perceptibly crestfallen.’ ‘Then what on earth is your meaning. State your reason. sir!’ said Stryver. ‘Then I think I wouldn’t.

I mean to tell you. Mr. Lorry.’ ‘D—n ME!’ cried Stryver. ‘but this beats everything. Stryver remarked upon the peculiarity as if it would have been infinitely less remarkable if he had said it with his head off. he says there’s no reason at all! Says it with his head on!’ Mr. ‘and having summed up three leading reasons for complete success. Lorry glanced at the distant House.’ said Mr. ‘the young lady.’ said Stryver. ‘Here’s a man of business—a man of years—a man of experience— IN a Bank. and glanced at the angry Stryver.’ Mr. my good sir.’ said Stryver. The young lady goes before all. ‘that I will hear no disrespectful 253 of 670 . Stryver. squaring his elbows.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Because. mildly tapping the Stryver arm.’ said Mr. Lorry. ‘that it is your deliberate opinion that the young lady at present in question is a mincing Fool?’ ‘Not exactly so. Mr.’ ‘Then you mean to tell me. ‘I wouldn’t go on such an object without having some cause to believe that I should succeed. The young lady. and when I speak of causes and reasons to make success probable.’ said Mr. I speak of success with the young lady. reddening. Lorry. Lorry. ‘When I speak of success. I speak of causes and reasons that will tell as such with the young lady.

not even Tellson’s should prevent my giving him a piece of my mind. Lorry. He broke the awkward silence by saying: ‘This is something new to me. Mr. Stryver sucked the end of a ruler for a little while. ‘Pray let there be no mistake about it.A Tale of Two Cities word of that young lady from any lips.’ said Mr. Mr.’ Mr. sir. that he could not restrain himself from speaking disrespectfully of that young lady at this desk. were in no better state now it was his turn. Stryver of the King’s Bench bar?’ ‘Do you ask me for my advice. Then I give it.’ ‘Very good. Lorry’s veins. Stryver’s blood-vessels into a dangerous state when it was his turn to be angry.’ 254 of 670 . and then stood hitting a tune out of his teeth with it.’ The necessity of being angry in a suppressed tone had put Mr. and whose temper was so overbearing. You deliberately advise me not to go up to Soho and offer myself—MYself. ‘That is what I mean to tell you. and you have repeated it correctly. I do. Lorry. and that if I knew any man—which I hope I do not— whose taste was so coarse. Stryver?’ ‘Yes. which probably gave him the toothache. methodical as their courses could usually be. Mr.

Mr. whistling.’ ‘Now understand me. as a man of business. Well. I dare say. I have spoken.A Tale of Two Cities ‘And all I can say of it is. I know nothing of it. ‘I will not—not even at Tellson’s— have it characterised for me by any gentleman breathing. and who has a great affection for them both. present. Stryver. quickly flushing again. Stryver. But. ha!—beats everything past. ‘that this—ha. recollect. Lorry. I claim to characterise for myself—And understand me. Lorry. you think I may not be right?’ ‘Not I!’ said Stryver. sir. Mr.’ pursued Mr. I suppose sense in certain quarters.’ ‘There! I beg your pardon!’ said Stryver.’ ‘What I suppose. Thank you. I was about to say:—it might be painful to you to find yourself mistaken. ‘Granted. It’s new to me. but you are right. The confidence is not of my seeking. Now. I can only find it for myself. I am not justified in saying anything about this matter. you suppose mincing bread-and-butter nonsense.’ laughed Stryver with a vexed laugh. ‘I can’t undertake to find third parties in common sense. ‘As a man of business. who is the trusted friend of Miss Manette and of her father too. who has carried Miss Manette in his arms. and to come. it might be painful to Doctor Manette to have 255 of 670 . for.’ said Mr. as an old fellow.

If you please. it might be very painful to Miss Manette to have the task of being explicit with you. committing you in no way. and it should be what it now is. I could go to Soho in the evening. on the other hand. causing such a concussion of air on his passage through. I am not so hot upon it as that comes to. You know the terms upon which I have the honour and happiness to stand with the family. I will undertake to correct my advice by the exercise of a little new observation and judgment expressly brought to bear upon it. that to stand up against it bowing behind the two counters. you can but test its soundness for yourself.A Tale of Two Cities the task of being explicit with you. If you should then be dissatisfied with it. representing you in no way. you should be satisfied with it. Good morning.’ said Stryver: ‘I won’t go up there now.’ Then Mr. if. Stryver turned and burst out of the Bank. it may spare all sides what is best spared. required the utmost remaining strength of the 256 of 670 . I say yes. What do you say?’ ‘How long would you keep me in town?’ ‘Oh! It is only a question of a few hours.’ ‘Then I say yes. and come to your chambers afterwards. and I shall expect you to look in to-night.

and were popularly believed. Stryver. He even showed surprise when he saw Mr. Lorry. when they had bowed a customer out. ‘You shall not put me in the wrong. is. when Mr.’ said Mr. ‘And now. Stryver. Unprepared as he was for the large pill he had to swallow.’ said Mr. seemed to have nothing less on his mind than the subject of the morning. when it was down.’ Accordingly. to put you all in the wrong. shaking his forensic forefinger at the Temple in general. Mr. and was altogether in an absent and preoccupied state. The barrister was keen enough to divine that the banker would not have gone so far in his expression of opinion on any less solid ground than moral certainty.A Tale of Two Cities two ancient clerks. in which he found great relief. ‘my way out of this. ‘I’ll do that for you. he got it down. among a quantity of books and papers littered out for the purpose.’ It was a bit of the art of an Old Bailey tactician. Stryver. Those venerable and feeble persons were always seen by the public in the act of bowing. still to keep on bowing in the empty office until they bowed another customer in. Lorry called that night as late as ten o’clock. young lady. 257 of 670 .

‘I dare say not. ‘No it doesn’t. and have repented them in poverty and obscurity often before. I know this must always be a sore subject with the family. Young women have committed similar follies often before. ‘Oh.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Well!’ said that good-natured emissary.’ rejoined Stryver. ‘that I am sorry for it on your account. coldly.’ ‘But it does matter. I am sorry that the thing is dropped.’ ‘To Soho?’ repeated Mr. Lorry. and no harm is done. let us say no more about it. and I reiterate my advice. I assure you it doesn’t.’ said Mr. In an unselfish aspect.’ ‘I assure you.’ ‘I don’t understand you. ‘I have been to Soho. in the friendliest way. no matter. because it would have been a bad thing for me in a 258 of 670 . I am well out of my mistake. ‘no matter.’ returned Mr. and sorry for it on the poor father’s account. after a full halfhour of bootless attempts to bring him round to the question. Lorry.’ Mr. Lorry urged. nodding his head in a smoothing and final way. to be sure! What am I thinking of!’ ‘And I have no doubt. Stryver. and a laudable ambition where there is not a laudable ambition. My opinion is confirmed. Having supposed that there was sense where there is no sense. Stryver.’ said Mr. ‘that I was right in the conversation we had.

pray say no more about it. Stryver shouldering him towards the door. with an appearance of showering generosity. thank you again for allowing me to sound you. Lorry was so taken aback. you cannot control the mincing vanities and giddinesses of empty-headed girls. on his erring head. ‘Make the best of it. I am by no means certain.A Tale of Two Cities worldly point of view. and for giving me your advice. but I am satisfied on my own account. There is no harm at all done. and. and goodwill. on reflection. or you will always be disappointed. Mr.’ said Stryver. good night!’ 259 of 670 . my dear sir. you must not expect to do it. you were right. And I am really very much obliged to you for allowing me to sound you. forbearance. I regret it on account of others. Lorry. that I ever should have committed myself to that extent. I tell you. between ourselves. I have not proposed to the young lady. Now. I am glad that the thing has dropped. ‘say no more about it. because it would have been a bad thing for me in a worldly point of view— it is hardly necessary to say I could have gained nothing by it. in a selfish aspect.’ Mr. you know the young lady better than I do. that he looked quite stupidly at Mr. it never would have done.

Lorry was out in the night. Stryver was lying back on his sofa.A Tale of Two Cities Mr. before he knew where he was. 260 of 670 . Mr. winking at his ceiling.

A Tale of Two Cities XIII The Fellow of No Delicacy If Sydney Carton ever shone anywhere. he talked well. Many a night he vaguely and unhappily wandered there. into his mind. else forgotten and unattainable. which overshadowed him with such a fatal darkness. was very rarely pierced by the light within him. he certainly never shone in the house of Doctor Manette. many a dreary daybreak revealed his solitary figure lingering there. When he cared to talk. and still lingering there when the first beams of the sun brought into strong relief. He had been there often. as perhaps the quiet time brought some sense of better things. the cloud of caring for nothing. when wine had brought no transitory gladness to him. the neglected bed in the Temple Court had known him more scantily than ever. Of late. and had always been the same moody and morose lounger there. and for the senseless stones that made their pavements. And yet he did care something for the streets that environed that house. but. removed beauties of architecture in spires of churches and lofty buildings. and often when he had thrown himself upon it no 261 of 670 . during a whole year.

and of youth for the oldest. such profligates?’ ‘Is it not—forgive me. Miss Manette. On a day in August. in the working out of that intention. is not conducive to health. and received him with some little embarrassment as he seated himself near her table.A Tale of Two Cities longer than a few minutes. Carton!’ ‘No. or by. She had never been quite at her ease with him. From being irresolute and purposeless. ‘I fear you are not well. when Mr. of health for the sickliest. alone. his feet became animated by an intention. and found Lucie at her work. I have begun the question on my lips—a pity to live no better life?’ 262 of 670 . Mr. they took him to the Doctor’s door. Stryver (after notifying to his jackal that ‘he had thought better of that marrying matter’) had carried his delicacy into Devonshire. But. What is to be expected of. He was shown up-stairs. But the life I lead. Sydney’s feet still trod those stones. he had got up again. and haunted that neighbourhood. and. and when the sight and scent of flowers in the City streets had some waifs of goodness in them for the worst. she observed a change in it. looking up at his face in the interchange of the first few common-places.

and covered his eyes with his hand. She had never seen him softened.’ 263 of 670 . I shall never be better than I am. she was surprised and saddened to see that there were tears in his eyes. I break down before the knowledge of what I want to say to you. There were tears in his voice too.’ He leaned an elbow on her table. Mr. ‘Don’t be afraid to hear me. He knew her to be so. it would make me very glad!’ ‘God bless you for your sweet compassion!’ He unshaded his face after a little while. Carton. if it would make you happier.A Tale of Two Cities ‘God knows it is a shame!’ ‘Then why not change it?’ Looking gently at him again. I shall sink lower. and spoke steadily. as he answered: ‘It is too late for that. Miss Manette. Don’t shrink from anything I say. Will you hear me?’ ‘If it will do you any good. and be worse. I am like one who died young. The table trembled in the silence that followed. without looking at her. and said: ‘Pray forgive me. All my life might have been. and was much distressed.

Carton? Can I not recall you— forgive me again!—to a better course? Can I in no way repay your confidence? I know this is a confidence. that he would bring you to misery. wasted. Mr.’ ‘Say of you. Miss Manette. ‘If it had been possible. Miss Manette. blight you. pull you down with him.’ ‘Without it. poor creature of misuse as you know him to be—he would have been conscious this day and hour. disgrace you. after a little hesitation.’ she modestly said. Mr. ‘I know you would say this to no one else. I am sure that the best part of it might still be. I ask for none. Carton. can I not save you. I am sure that you might be much.A Tale of Two Cities ‘No. drunken. I know very well that you can have no tenderness for me. 264 of 670 . and in earnest tears. much worthier of yourself. that you could have returned the love of the man you see before yourself—flung away. and although I know better—although in the mystery of my own wretched heart I know better—I shall never forget it!’ She was pale and trembling. in spite of his happiness. bring you to sorrow and repentance. He came to her relief with a fixed despair of himself which made the interview unlike any other that could have been holden. I am even thankful that it cannot be.

and have still the weakness. Since I knew you. all you can ever do for me is done. heap of ashes that 265 of 670 . and leaves the sleeper where he lay down. but I wish you to know that you inspired it. I have known myself to be quite undeserving. to none. that I thought were silent for ever. all a dream. No. all through it. I have had unformed ideas of striving afresh.A Tale of Two Cities Can I turn it to no good account for yourself. to wish you to know with what a sudden mastery you kindled me. Carton?’ He shook his head. and have heard whispers from old voices impelling me upward. and fighting out the abandoned fight. has stirred old shadows that I thought had died out of me. and of this home made such a home by you. think again! Try again!’ ‘No. And yet I have had the weakness. Miss Manette. Mr. that ends in nothing. Miss Manette. I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul. A dream. I have been troubled by a remorse that I thought would never reproach me again. beginning anew. If you will hear me through a very little more. Carton. In my degradation I have not been so degraded but that the sight of you with your father. ‘To none.’ ‘Will nothing of it remain? O Mr. shaking off sloth and sensuality.

Carton. lighting nothing.’ ‘Since the state of your mind that you describe. attributable to some influence of mine—this is what I mean. most fervently. I have come here to realise. quickening nothing. and that there was something left in me at this time which you could deplore and pity. Miss Manette.’ ‘Since it is my misfortune. with all my heart. with you. Let me carry through the rest of my misdirected life. into fire—a fire. You will not be the cause of my becoming worse.’ ‘Which I entreated you to believe. to have made you more unhappy than you were before you knew me— ‘ ‘Don’t say that. if anything could.A Tale of Two Cities I am. last of all the world. the remembrance that I opened my heart to you. for you would have reclaimed me. is. inseparable in its nature from myself. Miss Manette. however. doing no service. idly burning away. if I can make it plain—can I use no influence to serve you? Have I no power for good. was capable of better things. Mr. at all?’ ‘The utmost good that I am capable of now. Carton!’ 266 of 670 . at all events. Mr. again and again.

‘Be under no apprehension. ‘the secret is yours.’ ‘Not even by the dearest one ever to be known to you?’ ‘Mr. and that it lies there alone. yes. I will never refer to it again. Will you let me believe. If I were dead. God bless you. and miseries were gently carried in your heart. I draw fast to an end.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Entreat me to believe it no more. And again. and that my name. of my ever resuming this conversation by so much as a passing word. Carton. that could not be surer than it is henceforth. when I recall this day. and faults. I have proved myself.’ He put her hand to his lips. and I promise to respect it. Miss Manette. May it otherwise be light and happy!’ 267 of 670 . and I know better. not mine. I distress you. after an agitated pause. and will be shared by no one?’ ‘If that will be a consolation to you.’ she answered. I shall hold sacred the one good remembrance— and shall thank and bless you for it—that my last avowal of myself was made to you. In the hour of my death.’ ‘Thank you. that the last confidence of my life was reposed in your pure and innocent breast. Miss Manette. and moved towards the door.

is this. and it was so sad to think how much he had thrown away. as 268 of 670 . though outwardly I shall be what you have heretofore seen me. For you. Try to hold me in your mind. is. I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you. and for any dear to you. ‘I am not worth such feeling. I know. that Lucie Manette wept mournfully for him as he stood looking back at her. than any wretch who creeps along the streets. within myself. and how much he every day kept down and perverted. that you will believe this of me. what I am now.A Tale of Two Cities He was so unlike what he had ever shown himself to be. will render me less worth such tears as those. Mr. The last supplication but one I make to you. It is useless to say it. I shall always be. towards you.’ ‘I will. An hour or two hence.’ ‘My last supplication of all. Carton. and the low companions and low habits that I scorn but yield to. and with it. If my career were of that better kind that there was any opportunity or capacity of sacrifice in it. I would do anything. ‘Be comforted!’ he said. Miss Manette. but it rises out of my soul. at some quiet times. Be comforted! But. and between whom and you there is an impassable space. I will relieve you of a visitor with whom I well know you have nothing in unison.

when you see your own bright beauty springing up anew at your feet. The time will come. to keep a life you love beside you!’ He said. when the little picture of a happy father’s face looks up in yours. O Miss Manette. the time will not be long in coming. ‘Farewell!’ said a last ‘God bless you!’ and left her.A Tale of Two Cities ardent and sincere in this one thing. when new ties will be formed about you—ties that will bind you yet more tenderly and strongly to the home you so adorn—the dearest ties that will ever grace and gladden you. 269 of 670 . think now and then that there is a man who would give his life.

Who could sit upon anything in Fleet-street during the busy hours of the day. one ever tending westward with the sun. like the heathen rustic who has for several centuries been on duty watching one stream— saving that Jerry had no expectation of their ever running dry. Mr. the other ever tending eastward from the sun. since a small part of his income was derived from the pilotage of timid women (mostly of a full habit and past the middle term of life) from Tellson’s side of the tides to the opposite shore. sitting on his stool in Fleet-street with his grisly urchin beside him. Cruncher sat watching the two streams. Mr.A Tale of Two Cities XIV The Honest Tradesman To the eyes of Mr. Cruncher never failed to 270 of 670 . Jeremiah Cruncher. Nor would it have been an expectation of a hopeful kind. both ever tending to the plains beyond the range of red and purple where the sun goes down! With his straw in his mouth. a vast number and variety of objects in movement were every day presented. and not be dazed and deafened by two immense processions. Brief as such companionship was in every separate instance.

and belated women few. The elder gentleman took the cry 271 of 670 . which engendered uproar. and mused in the sight of men. when an unusual concourse pouring down Fleet-street westward. father!’ cried Young Jerry. ‘Young Jerry. And it was from the gifts bestowed upon him towards the execution of this benevolent purpose. and that there was popular objection to this funeral. and when his affairs in general were so unprosperous as to awaken a strong suspicion in his breast that Mrs. turning to his offspring. Cruncher. Time was. mused as little as possible. Looking that way. It fell out that he was thus engaged in a season when crowds were few. Mr.’ said Mr. that he recruited his finances. and looked about him. Cruncher. ‘it’s a buryin’. sitting on a stool in a public place. as just now observed. Cruncher made out that some kind of funeral was coming along.’ ‘Hooroar.A Tale of Two Cities become so interested in the lady as to express a strong desire to have the honour of drinking her very good health. attracted his attention. but not being a poet. Mr. when a poet sat upon a stool in a public place. Cruncher must have been ‘flopping’ in some pointed manner. The young gentleman uttered this exultant sound with mysterious significance.

‘Him and his hooroars! Don’t let me hear no more of you. making grimaces at him. The position appeared by no means to please him. rubbing his cheek. or you shall feel some more of me. they were bawling and hissing round a dingy hearse and dingy mourning coach. and smote the young gentleman on the ear. 272 of 670 . however.A Tale of Two Cities so ill. surveying him.’ Young Jerry protested. ‘I won’t have none of YOUR no harms. and look at the crowd. Cruncher. with an increasing rabble surrounding the coach. in which mourning coach there was only one mourner. deriding him. and incessantly groaning and calling out: ‘Yah! Spies! Tst! Yaha! Spies!’ with many compliments too numerous and forcible to repeat. that he watched his opportunity. and the crowd approached. Get a top of that there seat. ‘Drop it then. D’ye hear?’ ‘I warn’t doing no harm.’ His son obeyed. you young Rip? This boy is a getting too many for ME!’ said Mr. ‘What d’ye mean? What are you hooroaring at? What do you want to conwey to your own father.’ said Mr. Cruncher. dressed in the dingy trappings that were considered essential to the dignity of the position.

recalling the Trial at which he had assisted. is he?’ ‘Dead as mutton. there! Spies!’ 273 of 670 . clapping his hands to his mouth nevertheless. and became excited.A Tale of Two Cities Funerals had at all times a remarkable attraction for Mr. a person better informed on the merits of the case. ‘I’ve seen him. ‘Was He a spy?’ asked Mr. Naturally. brother? What’s it about?’ ‘I don’t know.’ returned the other. when a funeral passed Tellson’s.’ returned his informant. tst! Spi—ies!’ At length.’ said the man. therefore. to be sure!’ exclaimed Jerry. and from this person he learned that the funeral was the funeral of one Roger Cly. and he asked of the first man who ran against him: ‘What is it. ‘and can’t be too dead. ‘Old Bailey spy. Have ‘em out.’ returned the man. ‘Who is it?’ ‘I don’t know. ‘Yaha! Tst! Yah! Old Bailey Spi—i—ies!’ ‘Why. there! Spies! Pull ‘em out. a funeral with this uncommon attendance excited him greatly. ‘Spies! Yaha! Tst. Cruncher. Cruncher. and vociferating in a surprising heat and with the greatest ardour. ‘Spies! Yaha! Tst! Spies!’ He asked another man. he always pricked up his senses. tumbled against him. Dead.

its being escorted to its destination amidst general rejoicing. Practical suggestions being much needed. the people tore to pieces and scattered far and wide with great enjoyment. and was a monster much dreaded. while as many people got on the roof of the hearse as could by any exercise of ingenuity stick upon it. that the crowd caught it up with eagerness. and to pull ‘em out. but he was so alert. the one mourner scuffled out of himself and was in their hands for a moment. long hatband. after shedding his cloak. for a crowd in those times stopped at nothing. They had already got the length of opening the hearse to take the coffin out. 274 of 670 . On the crowd’s opening the coach doors. hat. and the coach was immediately filled with eight inside and a dozen out. and made such good use of his time. was received with acclamation. Among the first of these volunteers was Jerry Cruncher himself. white pocket-handkerchief. too. These. while the tradesmen hurriedly shut up their shops. when some brighter genius proposed instead. that in another moment he was scouring away up a bye-street.A Tale of Two Cities The idea was so acceptable in the prevalent absence of any idea. and other symbolical tears. and loudly repeating the suggestion to have ‘em out. mobbed the two vehicles so closely that they came to a stop. this suggestion.

before the cavalcade had gone far down the Strand. recruiting at every step. with a chimney-sweep driving the hearse—advised by the regular driver. and all the shops shutting up before it. under close inspection. the protest was faint and brief. The officiating undertakers made some protest against these changes in the ceremonies. Thus. The remodelled procession started. in the further corner of the mourning coach.A Tale of Two Cities who modestly concealed his spiky head from the observation of Tellson’s. but. with beer-drinking. It got there in course of time. 275 of 670 . also attended by his cabinet minister. driving the mourning coach. the river being alarmingly near. insisted on pouring into the burial-ground. who was perched beside him. far off in the fields. the disorderly procession went its way. A bear-leader. who was black and very mangy. and his bear. gave quite an Undertaking air to that part of the procession in which he walked. for the purpose—and with a pieman. song-roaring. and infinite caricaturing of woe. a popular street character of the time. pipe-smoking. Its destination was the old church of Saint Pancras. was impressed as an additional ornament. finally. and several voices remarking on the efficacy of cold immersion in bringing refractory members of the profession to reason.

as Old Bailey spies. The dead man disposed of. Chase was given to some scores of inoffensive persons who had never been near the Old Bailey in their lives. and they were roughly hustled and maltreated. in the realisation of this fancy. after several hours. but had remained behind in the churchyard. The transition to the sport of windowbreaking. and perhaps they never came. and some area-railings had been torn up. The place had a soothing influence on him. was easy and natural. Cruncher did not assist at the closing sports. another brighter genius (or perhaps the same) conceived the humour of impeaching casual passers-by.A Tale of Two Cities accomplished the interment of the deceased Roger Cly in its own way. to confer and condole with the undertakers. At last. to arm the more belligerent spirits. Mr. and thence to the plundering of public-houses. and this was the usual progress of a mob. and perhaps the Guards came. Before this rumour. and the crowd being under the necessity of providing some other entertainment for itself. and highly to its own satisfaction. the crowd gradually melted away. a rumour got about that the Guards were coming. when sundry summer-houses had been pulled down. and wreaking vengeance on them. He procured a pipe from a 276 of 670 .

‘Jerry. as a honest tradesman. apostrophising himself in his usual way.’ 277 of 670 . the usual watch was set. or whether he desired to show a little attention to an eminent man. ‘Now. I shall make sure that you’ve been praying again me. Cruncher to his wife. or whether his general health had been previously at all amiss. my wenturs goes wrong to-night.’ Having smoked his pipe out. ‘If. I tell you where it is!’ said Mr.A Tale of Two Cities neighbouring public-house. is not so much to the purpose. and I shall work you for it just the same as if I seen you do it. and Mr. Whether his meditations on mortality had touched his liver.’ said Mr. The bank closed. Cruncher. that he might appear. Young Jerry relieved his father with dutiful interest. and ruminated a little longer. ‘you see that there Cly that day. and smoked it. on entering. Cruncher and his son went home to tea. and you see with your own eyes that he was a young ‘un and a straight made ‘un. looking in at the railings and maturely considering the spot. the ancient clerks came out. before the hour of closing. he turned himself about. as that he made a short call upon his medical adviser—a distinguished surgeon—on his way back. and reported No job in his absence. on his station at Tellson’s.

when he took another bite. ‘Ah! I think so.’ Mr. Cruncher sitting down to tea. Jerry. Jerry. as people not unfrequently do. then. You may say yes. You may as well go again me one way as another. Jerry.’ said Mr. and seeming to help it down with a large invisible oyster out of his saucer. to express general ironical dissatisfaction.’ ‘May I go with you. Jerry. ‘I am saying nothing. You might as well flop as meditate. Cruncher. don’t meditate nothing. Cruncher shook her head. ‘Ah! It IS yes. I believe you. taking a bite out of his bread-and-butter.A Tale of Two Cities The dejected Mrs. father?’ asked his son. but made use of them.’ ‘You are going out to-night?’ asked his decent wife. That’s about it. Cruncher had no particular meaning in these sulky corroborations. ‘Why. ‘Yes. briskly. I am.’ ‘Yes. ‘You and your yes. Jerry.’ ‘Yes.’ repeated Mr. with signs of angry apprehension. 278 of 670 . Cruncher. you’re at it afore my face!’ said Mr.’ ‘Well. Drop it altogether.

Going a fishing. shaking his head. you’ll have short commons. I’m a going—as your mother knows—a fishing. and led the unfortunate woman a hard life by dwelling on any causes of complaint he could bring against her. With this view. he urged his son to hold her in conversation also. to-morrow. and sullenly holding her in conversation that she might be prevented from meditating any petitions to his disadvantage.A Tale of Two Cities ‘No. It was as if a professed unbeliever in ghosts should be frightened by a ghost story. father?’ ‘If I don’t. 279 of 670 . Cruncher. ‘that’s questions enough for you. rather than he would leave her for a moment to her own reflections. you mayn’t. That’s where I’m going to.’ ‘Your fishing-rod gets rayther rusty.’ ‘Shall you bring any fish home. The devoutest person could have rendered no greater homage to the efficacy of an honest prayer than he did in this distrust of his wife.’ He devoted himself during the remainder of the evening to keeping a most vigilant watch on Mrs. I ain’t a going out. don’t it. father?’ ‘Never you mind.’ returned that gentleman. till you’ve been long abed.

and not know that a mother’s first duty is to blow her boy out?’ This touched Young Jerry on a tender place. am able to provide a little beer. above all things to lay especial stress on the discharge of that maternal function so affectingly and delicately indicated by his other parent. who adjured his mother to perform her first duty. Look at your boy: he IS your’n. as a honest tradesman. you know.A Tale of Two Cities ‘And mind you!’ said Mr. if you don’t. until Young Jerry was ordered to bed. do as Rome does. none of your not touching of it. ‘No games tomorrow! If I. by your flopping tricks and your unfeeling conduct. 280 of 670 . whatever else she did or neglected. ain’t he? He’s as thin as a lath. and his mother. and sticking to bread.’ Then he began grumbling again: ‘With your flying into the face of your own wittles and drink! I don’t know how scarce you mayn’t make the wittles and drink here. Mr. Rome will be a ugly customer to you. obeyed them. Do you call yourself a mother. as a honest tradesman. When you go to Rome. If I. I’m your Rome. laid under similar injunctions. none of your declaring on water. and. succeed in providing a jinte of meat or two. Cruncher. Thus the evening wore away with the Cruncher family.

and the two trudged on together. followed out into the streets. and went out. for it was full of lodgers. and did not start upon his excursion until nearly one o’clock. Impelled by a laudable ambition to study the art and mystery of his father’s honest calling. He was in no uneasiness concerning his getting into the house again. a crowbar of convenient size. 281 of 670 . was not long after his father. when he was joined by another disciple of Izaak Walton. Cruncher. walls. Disposing these articles about him in skilful manner. and doorways. Young Jerry. Under cover of the darkness he followed out of the room. he bestowed a parting defiance on Mrs. followed down the court. had not gone far. as his eyes were close to one another.A Tale of Two Cities Cruncher beguiled the earlier watches of the night with solitary pipes. opened a locked cupboard. and other fishing tackle of that nature. held his honoured parent in view. followed down the stairs. The honoured parent steering Northward. extinguished the light. who had only made a feint of undressing when he went to bed. took a key out of his pocket. a rope and chain. keeping as close to house fronts. Towards that small and ghostly hour. and brought forth a sack. he rose up from his chair. Young Jerry. and the door stood ajar all night.

In the shadow of bank and wall the three turned out of the road. nimbly scaling an iron gate. risen to some eight or ten feet high—formed one side. of which the wall—there. split himself into two. was the form of his honoured parent. Upon the top of the bank was a low brick wall. they were beyond the winking lamps. and then the second fisherman got over. and then the third. Crouching down again in a corner there. pretty well defined against a watery and clouded moon. until the three stopped under a bank overhanging the road. Crouching down in a corner. surmounted by an iron railing. and the more than winking watchmen. and looking in. they moved away on their hands and knees. and lay there a little—listening perhaps. and up a blind lane. and Young Jerry went on. holding his breath. he made out the three 282 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities Within half an hour from the first starting. It was now Young Jerry’s turn to approach the gate: which he did. he might have supposed the second follower of the gentle craft to have. and were out upon a lonely road. Another fisherman was picked up here—and that so silently. They all dropped softly on the ground within the gate. that if Young Jerry had been superstitious. all of a sudden. He was soon over. the next object that Young Jerry saw. The three went on. peeping up the lane. Then.

now they seemed to have got a bite. Whatever tools they worked with. By slow degrees the weight broke away the earth upon it. but lured him back again. that he made off. not only stopped him in his running away. when he saw it.A Tale of Two Cities fishermen creeping through some rank grass! and all the gravestones in the churchyard—it was a large churchyard that they were in—looking on like ghosts in white. They were still fishing perseveringly. and came to the surface. but. There was a screwing and complaining sound down below. while the church tower itself looked on like the ghost of a monstrous giant. Presently the honoured parent appeared to be adjusting some instrument like a great corkscrew. at first. but. and their bent figures were strained. They fished with a spade. Young Jerry very well knew what it would be. until the awful striking of the church clock so terrified Young Jerry. they worked hard. when he peeped in at the gate for the second time. as if by a weight. They did not creep far. and saw his honoured parent about to wrench it open. his long-cherished desire to know more about these matters. And then they began to fish. he was so 283 of 670 . with his hair as stiff as his father’s. before they stopped and stood upright. But.

upon its narrow end. but followed him upstairs with a bump on every stair. always on the point of overtaking him and hopping on at his side—perhaps taking his arm— it was a pursuer to shun. so that when the boy got to his own door he had reason for being half dead. and. It got into shadows on the road. He had a strong idea that the coffin he had seen was running after him. and never stopped until he had run a mile or more. on his breast when he fell asleep. it being a spectral sort of race that he ran. pictured as hopping on behind him. It hid in doorways too.A Tale of Two Cities frightened. fearful of its coming hopping out of them like a dropsical boy’s-Kite without tail and wings. bolt upright. for anything less necessary than breath. scrambled into bed with him. for. and bumped down. And even then it would not leave him. he darted out into the roadway to avoid dark alleys. and drawing them up to its ears. being new to the sight. All this time it was incessantly hopping on behind and gaining on him. and lay cunningly on its back to trip him up. that he made off again. and one highly desirable to get to the end of. 284 of 670 . rubbing its horrible shoulders against doors. as if it were laughing. while it was making the whole night behind him dreadful. dead and heavy. It was an inconsistent and ubiquitous fiend too. He would not have stopped then.

‘and I did. ‘I told you I would. Cruncher. Something had gone wrong with him. from the circumstance of his holding Mrs. why the devil don’t you?’ ‘I try to be a good wife. Jerry. Cruncher by the ears. and knocking the back of her head against the head-board of the bed. Cruncher. Young Jerry in his closet was awakened after daybreak and before sunrise. A honouring and obeying wife would let his trade alone altogether.A Tale of Two Cities From his oppressed slumber. ‘Is it being a good wife to oppose your husband’s business? Is it honouring your husband to dishonour his business? Is it obeying your husband to disobey him on the wital subject of his business?’ ‘You hadn’t taken to the dreadful business then. at least. ‘You oppose yourself to the profit of the business. ‘and me and my partners suffer.’ ‘Jerry.’ ‘It’s enough for you.’ retorted Mr. and not to occupy your female mind with calculations when he took to his trade or when he didn’t. Jerry. You was to honour and obey. with tears. by the presence of his father in the family room.’ said Jerry. so Young Jerry inferred.’ the poor woman protested. ‘to be the wife of a honest tradesman.’ said Mr. Jerry. Jerry!’ his wife implored. Call yourself a religious woman? If 285 of 670 .

give me a irreligious one! You have no more nat’ral sense of duty than the bed of this here Thames river has of a pile. and set off with his son to pursue his ostensible calling. He was brushed and washed at the usual hour. Young Jerry. and fell asleep again. His cunning was fresh with the day. There was no fish for breakfast. and his qualms were gone with the night—in which particulars 286 of 670 . Cruncher was out of spirits. running home through darkness and solitude from his grim pursuer. with his rusty hands under his head for a pillow. After taking a timid peep at him lying on his back. and not much of anything else. his son lay down too. in case he should observe any symptoms of her saying Grace. Mr.’ The altercation was conducted in a low tone of voice. Cruncher. and kept an iron pot-lid by him as a projectile for the correction of Mrs. and terminated in the honest tradesman’s kicking off his clay-soiled boots. and out of temper. and lying down at his length on the floor. was a very different Young Jerry from him of the previous night.A Tale of Two Cities you’re a religious woman. and similarly it must be knocked into you. walking with the stool under his arm at his father’s side along sunny and crowded Fleet-street.

but shook his head in a dubious and moral way.’ ‘What’s his goods. that fine morning. ‘I believe it is something of that sort. ‘Hem! Well. father?’ asked the lively boy. ‘How should I know?’ ‘I thought you knowed everything.’ said Young Jerry. Cruncher. ‘It depends upon how you dewelop your talents. ain’t it.A Tale of Two Cities it is not improbable that he had compeers in Fleet-street and the City of London. ‘His goods. father?’ asked the brisk Young Jerry.’ said Mr.’ said the artless boy.’ ‘Persons’ bodies. Cruncher came to a stop on the pavement before he answered. going on again. ‘is a branch of Scientific goods. ‘Father. as they walked along: taking care to keep at arm’s length and to have the stool well between them: ‘what’s a Resurrection-Man?’ Mr. after turning it over in his mind.’ returned Mr. Cruncher. ‘Oh. I should so like to be a Resurrection-Man when I’m quite growed up!’ Mr. Cruncher was soothed. Be careful to dewelop your talents. ‘he’s a tradesman. and lifting off his hat to give his spikes free play. father. father. 287 of 670 . Cruncher. and never to say no more than you can help to nobody.’ said Mr.

and a recompense to you for his mother!’ 288 of 670 .’ As Young Jerry. Cruncher added to himself: ‘Jerry. Mr.A Tale of Two Cities and there’s no telling at the present time what you may not come to be fit for. you honest tradesman. there’s hopes wot that boy will yet be a blessing to you. thus encouraged. to plant the stool in the shadow of the Bar. went on a few yards in advance.

many men had listened and whispered and slunk about there from the time of the opening of the door. for its influence on the mood of those who drank it was to make them gloomy. moreover. These were to the full as 289 of 670 . lay hidden in the dregs of it. but it would seem to have been an unusually thin wine that he sold at this time. As early as six o’clock in the morning. on which there had been early drinking at the wine-shop of Monsieur Defarge. and here was Wednesday come.A Tale of Two Cities XV Knitting There had been earlier drinking than usual in the wineshop of Monsieur Defarge. A sour wine. or a souring. bending over measures of wine. This had been the third morning in succession. Monsieur Defarge sold a very thin wine at the best of times. There had been more of early brooding than drinking. who could not have laid a piece of money on the counter to save their souls. It had begun on Monday. a smouldering fire that burnt in the dark. sallow faces peeping through its barred windows had descried other faces within. No vivacious Bacchanalian flame leaped out of the pressed grape of Monsieur Defarge: but. for.

nobody who crossed the threshold looked for him. with a bowl of battered small coins before her. from the kings palace to the criminal’s gaol. as if they could have commanded whole barrels of wine. when two dusty men passed 290 of 670 . presiding over the distribution of wine. A suspended interest and a prevalent absence of mind. as they looked in at every place. players at dominoes musingly built towers with them.A Tale of Two Cities interested in the place. drinkers drew figures on the tables with spilt drops of wine. Notwithstanding an unusual flow of company. Games at cards languished. until midday. with greedy looks. and from corner to corner. and they glided from seat to seat. high and low. for. Thus. as much defaced and beaten out of their original impress as the small coinage of humanity from whose ragged pockets they had come. were perhaps observed by the spies who looked in at the wine-shop. however. swallowing talk in lieu of drink. and saw and heard something inaudible and invisible a long way off. It was high noontide. Saint Antoine in this vinous feature of his. the master of the wine-shop was not visible. nobody asked for him. Madame Defarge herself picked out the pattern on her sleeve with her toothpick. nobody wondered to see only Madame Defarge in her seat. He was not missed.

I met him—by accident— a day and half’s journey out of Paris. the two entered the wine-shop. ‘My wife.A Tale of Two Cities through his streets and under his swinging lamps: of whom. shaking his head. my wife!’ 291 of 670 . ‘Good day. and no man spoke when they entered the wine-shop. who got up and went out. It may have been a signal for loosening the general tongue. Except one man.’ said Defarge. every man looked at his neighbour. no one had followed them. called Jacques. It elicited an answering chorus of ‘Good day!’ ‘It is bad weather. Upon which.’ said Defarge aloud. Give him to drink. which stirred and flickered in flames of faces at most doors and windows. and then all cast down their eyes and sat silent. Their arrival had lighted a kind of fire in the breast of Saint Antoine. called Jacques. He is a good child. All adust and athirst. addressing Madame Defarge: ‘I have travelled certain leagues with this good mender of roads. gentlemen. gentlemen!’ said Monsieur Defarge. this mender of roads. though the eyes of every man there were turned upon them. fast spreading as they came along. one was Monsieur Defarge: the other a mender of roads in a blue cap. Yet.

making shoes. and no one now looked at him. Madame Defarge set wine before the mender of roads called Jacques. In the breast of his blouse he carried some coarse dark bread. stooping forward and very busy. thank you. out of the street into a courtyard. ‘Yes. Defarge refreshed himself with a draught of wine—but. It will suit you to a marvel. A third man got up and went out. in due season. who had taken up her knitting. as being himself a man to whom it was no rarity—and stood waiting until the countryman had made his breakfast.—formerly the garret where a white-haired man sat on a low bench. and sat munching and drinking near Madame Defarge’s counter. 292 of 670 .’ Out of the wine-shop into the street. then! You shall see the apartment that I told you you could occupy. he took less than was given to the stranger. and was at work. He looked at no one present. not even Madame Defarge. ‘Have you finished your repast. he ate of this between whiles. and drank.’ ‘Come. friend?’ he asked. out of the staircase into a garret. out of the courtyard up a steep staircase. who doffed his blue cap to the company.A Tale of Two Cities A second man got up and went out.

I leaving my work on the road. Behold the manner of it. underneath the carriage of the Marquis. Jacques Two.’ Again the mender of roads went through the whole performance. He will tell you all. and said. And between them and the white-haired man afar off. Speak. the three men were there who had gone out of the wine-shop singly. by me. wiped his swarthy forehead with it. he hanging by the chain—like this.’ began the mender of roads. Defarge closed the door carefully. ‘at the commencement. seeing that it had been the infallible resource 293 of 670 . the carriage of the Marquis slowly ascending the hill.A Tale of Two Cities No white-haired man was there now. monsieur?’ ‘Commence. Jacques Five!’ The mender of roads. hanging by the chain. in which he ought to have been perfect by that time.’ was Monsieur Defarge’s not unreasonable reply. was the one small link. Jacques Four. that they had once looked in at him through the chinks in the wall. ‘a year ago this running summer. but.’ ‘I saw him then. blue cap in hand. the sun going to bed. ‘Where shall I commence. Jacques Three! This is the witness encountered by appointment. messieurs. and spoke in a subdued voice: ‘Jacques One.

softly.A Tale of Two Cities and indispensable entertainment of his village during a whole year. Jacques One struck in. and says.’ returned Jacques Two. I do not offer my testimony. standing near our little fountain.’ murmured Defarge. neither did he confide in me. short as a dwarf. ‘Tall as a spectre. what is he like?’ I make response.’ said the mender of roads. ‘Say. Observe! Under those circumstances even. Jacques.’ ‘He is right there. Jacques Three demanded how he afterwards recognised him then? ‘By his tall figure. messieurs. to him who had interrupted. Monsieur the Marquis indicates me with his finger.’’ ‘You should have said. and asked if he had ever seen the man before? ‘Never. I offer nothing. ‘But what did I know? The deed was not then accomplished. ‘To me! Bring that rascal!’ My faith. recovering his perpendicular. ‘When Monsieur the Marquis demands that evening. ‘Go on!’ 294 of 670 .’ answered the mender of roads. and with his finger at his nose.

and at first. eleven?’ ‘No matter. with an air of mystery. the number. where it is already dark. that. and the sun is again about to go to bed. ‘I stand aside. messieurs. and he is sought—how many months? Nine. I see that their long shadows are on the hollow ridge on the opposite side of the road. Also. and see coming over the hill six soldiers. and that they are almost black to my sight—except on the side of the sun going to bed. he represented a man with his elbows bound fast at his hips. when I raise my eyes. I am collecting my tools to descend to my cottage down in the village below. with cords that were knotted behind him. where they have a red edge.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Good!’ said the mender of roads. to see the soldiers and their prisoner pass (for it is a solitary road.’ said Defarge. and are like the shadows of giants. messieurs. ‘He is well hidden. where any spectacle is well worth looking at). and are on the hill above it. Also. In the midst of them is a tall man with his arms bound—tied to his sides—like this!’ With the aid of his indispensable cap. but at last he is unluckily found. I see that they are 295 of 670 . as they approach. Go on!’ ‘I am again at work upon the hill-side. ‘The tall man is lost. ten. by my heap of stones. I see no more than that they are six soldiers with a tall man bound.

His arms are swelled because of being bound so tight. I follow. but he would be well content to precipitate himself over the hill-side once again.A Tale of Two Cities covered with dust. tramp! But when they advance quite near to me. but he cannot touch it. tramp. and it was evident that he saw it vividly. he does not show the soldiers that he recognises me. His face is bleeding and covered with dust. thereupon they laugh again. and he is lame. pointing to the village. close to the same spot!’ He described it as if he were there. as on the evening when he and I first encountered. Because he is lame. ‘bring him fast to his tomb!’ and they bring him faster. he falls. I recognise the tall man. his wooden shoes are large and clumsy. perhaps he had not seen much in his life. They bring him into the 296 of 670 . with our eyes. and that the dust moves with them as they come. ‘I do not show the soldiers that I recognise the tall man. and we know it. they drive him with their guns—like this!’ He imitated the action of a man’s being impelled forward by the butt-ends of muskets. we do it. ‘As they descend the hill like madmen running a race. and consequently slow. They laugh and pick him up again. ‘Come on!’ says the chief of that company. and he recognises me. Ah.

while it was secret. There I see him. and shut it with a sounding snap of his teeth. within the locks and bars of the prison on the crag. He has no hand free. to wave to me. all the village sleeps. I dare not call to him. and never to come out of it. he regards me like a dead man. the manner of all of them. and swallow him— like this!’ He opened his mouth as wide as he could. was 297 of 670 . high up.’ ‘All the village.’ pursued the mender of roads. on tiptoe and in a low voice. with my tools upon my shoulder. repressed. The looks of all of them were dark. except to perish. and up to the prison. ‘withdraws. on my way to my work. and revengeful. all the village dreams of that unhappy one. eating my morsel of black bread as I go. as they listened to the countryman’s story.A Tale of Two Cities village. In the morning. Defarge said. Observant of his unwillingness to mar the effect by opening it again. all the village sees the prison gate open in the darkness of the night. I make a circuit by the prison. they take him past the mill. all the village whispers by the fountain. looking through. ‘Go on. behind the bars of a lofty iron cage. all the village runs to look. Jacques.’ Defarge and the three glanced darkly at one another. bloody and dusty as last night.

when the work of the day is achieved and it assembles to gossip at the fountain. all faces are turned towards the prison. Jacques One and Two sitting on the old pallet-bed. and from them to him. for it is afraid. at the prison on the crag. ‘He remains up there in his iron cage some days. with his agitated hand always gliding over the network of fine nerves about his mouth and nose. What do I know? It is possible. on one knee behind them. equally intent. that although condemned to death he will not be executed. showing that he was enraged and made mad by the death of his child. They whisper at the fountain.A Tale of Two Cities authoritative too. each with his chin resting on his hand. they are turned towards the prison. Jacques. they say that a petition has been presented to the King himself. Perhaps yes. from a distance. and his eyes intent on the road-mender. Defarge standing between them and the narrator. They had the air of a rough tribunal. Jacques Three.’ said Defarge. Formerly. they say that petitions have been presented in Paris. and in the evening. The village looks at him by stealth. they were turned towards the posting-house. ‘Go on. by turns looking from him to them. whom he had stationed in the light of the window. perhaps no. But it always looks up.’ 298 of 670 . now.

messieurs. and that he will very certainly be executed. will be burnt off before his face. as if he hungered for something—that was neither food nor drink. armed with the knife. One old man says at the fountain. they whisper at the fountain. ‘the guard. at the hazard of his life.’ Number One of that name sternly interposed. surrounded the petitioner. It is Defarge whom you see here. They even whisper that because he has slain Monseigneur. and struck him blows. with the petition in his hand. that. that his right hand. in his carriage in the street. on the other hand. horse and foot.’ said Defarge. into wounds 299 of 670 . saw the King take it. who. ‘Know that a petition was presented to the King and Queen. ‘that he is brought down into our country to be executed on the spot. with a strikingly greedy air.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Listen then. Jacques. yourself excepted. You hear?’ ‘I hear. ‘Again. Jacques!’ said the kneeling Number Three: his fingers ever wandering over and over those fine nerves. and because Monseigneur was the father of his tenants—serfs—what you will—he will be executed as a parricide. sitting beside the Queen.’ ‘Go on then. darted out before the horses. All here.’ ‘And once again listen.’ resumed the countryman.

and it was all done in open day. who were full of eager attention to the last—to the last. ‘The name of that prisoner was Damiens. Jacques. melted lead. and sulphur. and his legs. and still breathed! And it was done—why. there will be poured boiling oil. in the open streets of this city of Paris. wax. ‘Long live the Devil! Go on. Louis Fifteen. who looked sixty. how old are you?’ ‘Thirty-five. his breast.’ ‘Well! Some whisper this. than the crowd of ladies of quality and fashion. and nothing was more noticed in the vast concourse that saw it done.’ ‘Enough!’ said Defarge. finally. that he will be torn limb from limb by four strong horses. they speak of nothing else. when he had lost two legs and an arm. hot resin. even the fountain appears to fall to 300 of 670 .’ said the mender of roads. you might have seen it.A Tale of Two Cities which will be made in his arms. Jacques!’ said the man with the restless hand and the craving air. all this was actually done to a prisoner who made an attempt on the life of the late King. with grim impatience. But how do I know if he lies? I am not a scholar. That old man says. some whisper that. ‘It was done when you were more than ten years old.’ ‘Listen once again then. prolonged until nightfall.

and he is in the midst of many soldiers. workmen hammer. there is raised a gallows forty feet high. as he used his blue cap to wipe his face.A Tale of Two Cities that tune. blade upwards.’ The mender of roads looked THROUGH rather than AT the low ceiling. At midday. on Sunday night when all the village is asleep. poisoning the water. by creasing his face with his two thumbs. ‘On the top of the gallows is fixed the knife. all assemble there. winding down from the prison. in the morning. poisoning the water. He is hanged there forty feet high— and is left hanging. soldiers laugh and sing. At length. making him look almost as if he laughed. Workmen dig. and their guns ring on the stones of the little street. Soldiers have marched into the prison in the night. nobody leads the cows out. and pointed as if he saw the gallows somewhere in the sky. and in his mouth there is a gag—tied so. the roll of drums. He is bound as before. with its point in the air. come soldiers.’ He suggested it. on which the perspiration had started afresh while he recalled the spectacle. ‘All work is stopped. from the corners of his mouth to his ears.’ They looked at one another. by the fountain. the cows are there with the rest. with a tight string. 301 of 670 .

the shadow struck across the church. across the prison—seemed to strike across the earth.’ said the mender of roads. to where the sky rests upon it!’ The hungry man gnawed one of his fingers as he looked at the other three. and. How can the women and the children draw water! Who can gossip of an evening. Whom Defarge escorted to the top of the stairs. that night and half next day. I left at sunset (as I had been warned to do). I came on. across the mill. 302 of 670 . Will you wait for us a little. ‘That’s all. through the rest of yesterday and through last night. have I said? When I left the village. With him. until I met (as I was warned I should) this comrade. returned.A Tale of Two Cities ‘It is frightful. and his finger quivered with the craving that was on him. the first Jacques said. leaving seated there. and looked back from the hill. under that shadow! Under it. And here you see me!’ After a gloomy silence. ‘Good! You have acted and recounted faithfully. The three had risen. and I walked on. messieurs. messieurs. outside the door?’ ‘Very willingly. now riding and now walking. messieurs. and their heads were together when he came back to the garret. Monday evening as the sun was going to bed.

in her own stitches and her own symbols. will she?’ ‘Jacques. Confide in Madame Defarge. ‘Magnificent!’ croaked the man with the craving. I ought to say. than to erase one letter of his name or crimes from the knitted register of Madame Defarge.A Tale of Two Cities ‘How say you. ‘that no embarrassment can arise from our manner of keeping the register? Without doubt it is safe. Jacques?’ demanded Number One. it will always be as plain to her as the sun. drawing himself up. of Defarge. ‘if madame my wife undertook to keep the register in her memory alone.’ returned Defarge. she would not lose a word of it—not a syllable of it. ‘Are you sure. to erase himself from existence. and all the race?’ inquired the first. ‘The chateau. Knitted.’ asked Jacques Two. in a rapturous croak.’ returned Defarge. ‘Magnificent!’ and began gnawing another finger. ‘Extermination.’ returned Defarge. but shall we always be able to decipher it—or. ‘The chateau and all the race. It would be easier for the weakest poltroon that lives.’ The hungry man repeated. as doomed to destruction. for no one beyond ourselves can decipher it. ‘To be registered?’ ‘To be registered.’ 303 of 670 .

and Court. He needed no persuasion. let him remain with me. But. is he not a little dangerous?’ ‘He knows nothing. asked: ‘Is this rustic to be sent back soon? I hope so. was advised to lay himself down on the pallet-bed and take some rest. could easily have been found in Paris for a provincial slave of that degree. and then the man who hungered. madame sat all day at her counter. I will take care of him. let him see them on Sunday. and was soon asleep. I charge myself with him.A Tale of Two Cities There was a murmur of confidence and approval. staring. so 304 of 670 . if you wish him to bring it down one day. Worse quarters than Defarge’s wine-shop. ‘at least nothing more than would easily elevate himself to a gallows of the same height. his life was very new and agreeable. the Queen. He wishes to see the fine world—the King. He is very simple.’ Nothing more was said. and set him on his road. if you wish her to thirst for it. Judiciously show a dog his natural prey. being found already dozing on the topmost stair. Saving for a mysterious dread of madame by which he was constantly haunted.’ ‘What?’ exclaimed the hungry man.’ said Defarge.’ said Defarge. and the mender of roads. ‘judiciously show a cat milk. that he wishes to see Royalty and Nobility?’ ‘Jacques. ‘Is it a good sign.

‘Yes.’ ‘What do you make. and so particularly determined not to perceive that his being there had any connection with anything below the surface. in a public conveyance. she would infallibly go through with it until the play was played out. still with her knitting in her hands as the crowd waited to see the carriage of the King and Queen.A Tale of Two Cities expressly unconscious of him. madame. Therefore. when Sunday came.’ 305 of 670 . the mender of roads was not enchanted (though he said he was) to find that madame was to accompany monsieur and himself to Versailles. madame?’ ‘Many things.’ answered Madame Defarge. ‘I have a good deal to do. he contended with himself that it was impossible to foresee what that lady might pretend next. and he felt assured that if she should take it into her brightly ornamented head to pretend that she had seen him do a murder and afterwards flay the victim. that he shook in his wooden shoes whenever his eye lighted on her.’ said a man near her. it was additionally disconcerting yet. to have madame in the crowd in the afternoon. ‘You work hard. It was additionally disconcerting to have madame knitting all the way there. For.

and the mender of roads fanned himself with his blue cap: feeling it mightily close and oppressive. as soon as he could.’ The man moved a little further away. he had plenty of shouting and weeping and sentimental company. more Bull’s Eye.’ returned Madame Defarge. and in jewels and silks and powder and splendour and elegantly spurning figures and handsomely disdainful faces of both sexes. Long live the Queen. attended by the shining Bull’s Eye of their Court. for.more lords and ladies. terraces. green banks. he was fortunate in having his remedy at hand. there were gardens. composedly. fountains. soon the large-faced King and the fair-faced Queen came in their golden coach. ‘shrouds. a glittering multitude of laughing ladies and fine lords. that he cried Long live the King. more Long live they all! until he absolutely wept with sentiment. so much to his temporary intoxication. and throughout Defarge held him by the collar. the mender of roads bathed himself. Long live everybody and everything! as if he had never heard of ubiquitous Jacques in his time. more King and Queen. 306 of 670 . If he needed a King and Queen to restore him. which lasted some three hours.A Tale of Two Cities ‘For instance—‘ ‘For instance. Then. During the whole of this scene. courtyards.

’ ‘Hey!’ cried the mender of roads. ‘As to you.’ said she. ‘you would shout and shed tears for anything. they only know what your breath tells them. a little longer. it cannot deceive them too much. Let it deceive them. and nodded in confirmation. if it made a show and a noise. ‘You are the fellow we want. in his ear. While they despise your breath.’ ‘These fools know nothing. then. and was mistrustful of having made a mistake in his late demonstrations. like a patron. but no. they are the more insolent. Say! Would you not?’ 307 of 670 .’ Madame Defarge looked superciliously at the client. and it is the nearer ended. ‘you are a good boy!’ The mender of roads was now coming to himself. ‘Bravo!’ said Defarge.A Tale of Two Cities as if to restrain him from flying at the objects of his brief devotion and tearing them to pieces. in you or in a hundred like you rather than in one of their own horses or dogs. ‘that’s true. ‘you make these fools believe that it will last for ever. and would stop it for ever and ever. reflectively. clapping him on the back when it was over.’ said Defarge. Then.

with a wave of her hand towards the place where they had last been apparent.’ ‘You have seen both dolls and birds to-day. ‘now. unable to fly. For the moment. you would set upon the birds of the finest feathers. would you not?’ ‘It is true.’ ‘If you were shown a great heap of dolls. And if you were shown a flock of birds.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Truly.’ said Madame Defarge. madame. I think so. madame. you would pick out the richest and gayest. and were set upon them to strip them of their feathers for your own advantage. Say! Would you not?’ ‘Truly yes. madame.’ ‘Yes. go home!’ 308 of 670 . and were set upon them to pluck them to pieces and despoil them for your own advantage.

that the few village scarecrows who. had it borne in upon their starved fancy that the expression of the faces was altered. strayed within sight of the great stone courtyard and terrace staircase.A Tale of Two Cities XVI Still Knitting Madame Defarge and monsieur her husband returned amicably to the bosom of Saint Antoine. from faces of pride to faces of anger and pain. and down the weary miles of avenue by the wayside. in their quest for herbs to eat and fragments of dead stick to burn. while a speck in a blue cap toiled through the darkness. listened to the whispering trees. now. the faces changed. also. for listening to the trees and to the fountain. now in his grave. slowly tending towards that point of the compass where the chateau of Monsieur the Marquis. Such ample leisure had the stone faces. and bore a cruel look of being avenged. which they would henceforth bear for ever. as its people had—that when the knife struck home. that when that dangling figure was hauled up forty feet above the fountain. they changed again. and through the dust. A rumour just lived in the village—had a faint and bare existence there. In the stone face over the great 309 of 670 .

like the more fortunate hares who could find a living there. two fine dints were pointed out in the sculptured nose. of every responsible creature on it. every vice and virtue. Chateau and hut. to that gate of Paris whereunto their journey naturally tended. with all its greatnesses and littlenesses. sublimer intelligences may read in the feeble shining of this earth of ours. concentrated into a faint hair-breadth line.A Tale of Two Cities window of the bed-chamber where the murder was done. There was the usual stoppage at the barrier guardhouse. and on the scarce occasions when two or three ragged peasants emerged from the crowd to take a hurried peep at Monsieur the Marquis petrified. a skinny finger would not have pointed to it for a minute. in their public vehicle. And as mere human knowledge can split a ray of light and analyse the manner of its composition. husband and wife. and which nobody had seen of old. So does a whole world. came lumbering under the starlight. every thought and act. lie in a twinkling star. and the pure water in the village well—thousands of acres of land—a whole province of France—all France itself—lay under the night sky. and the usual 310 of 670 . stone face and dangling figure. before they all started away among the moss and leaves. so. the red stain on the stone floor. which everybody recognised. The Defarges.

but he knows of one. ‘It is necessary to register him. my friend. When Saint Antoine had again enfolded the Defarges in his dusky wings. But.’ repeated madame.’ 311 of 670 . and affectionately embraced. ‘Barsad. having finally alighted near the Saint’s boundaries. There is another spy commissioned for our quarter. were picking their way on foot through the black mud and offal of his streets. Christian name?’ ‘John. that he then spelt it with perfect correctness. How do they call that man?’ ‘He is English. and they. Monsieur Defarge alighted. The latter he was intimate with. knowing one or two of the soldiery there. and one of the police. he had been so careful to get it accurately. ‘Good. but all he knows. Madame Defarge spoke to her husband: ‘Say then. what did Jacques of the police tell thee?’ ‘Very little to-night. There may be many more.’ ‘Eh well!’ said Madame Defarge. for all that he can say. raising her eyebrows with a cool business air.A Tale of Two Cities lanterns came glancing forth for the usual examination and inquiry.’ ‘So much the better. making it French by pronunciation. His name?’ ‘Barsad.’ said Defarge.

‘Good. rather handsome visage.’ ‘Eh my faith. 312 of 670 . Defarge. therefore. in which condition. made other entries of her own. having a peculiar inclination towards the left cheek. All this while. but never interfering. expression. walked up and down. His appearance. in a chain of separate knots. about forty years. laughing. eyes dark.’ They turned into the wine-shop. generally. complexion dark. after murmuring it once to herself. Then she turned out the contents of the bowl of money for the second time. sinister. checked the serving man in every possible way. nose aquiline.A Tale of Two Cities ‘John Barsad.’ repeated madame. height. and where Madame Defarge immediately took her post at her desk. black hair. he walked up and down through life. counted the small moneys that had been taken during her absence. which was closed (for it was midnight). It is a portrait!’ said madame. as to the business and his domestic affairs. face thin. ‘He shall be registered to-morrow. for safe keeping through the night. complacently admiring. examined the stock. is it known?’ ‘Age. long. indeed. went through the entries in the book. with his pipe in his mouth. and sallow. but not straight. and began knotting them up in her handkerchief. and finally dismissed him to bed. about five feet nine.

too. ‘but my dear! You are faint of heart to-night. ‘and when is it not a long time? Vengeance and retribution require a long time.’ her husband acknowledged. as if a thought were wrung out of his breast. nodding firmly. ‘There are only the usual odours. as he put down his smoked-out pipe. but the stock of wine smelt much stronger than it ever tasted.A Tale of Two Cities The night was hot. and the shop. my dear!’ ‘Well. close shut and surrounded by so foul a neighbourhood. ‘You are fatigued.’ ‘It is a long time. Monsieur Defarge’s olfactory sense was by no means delicate. ‘You are a little depressed.’ said Defarge. but they had had a ray or two for him. ‘Oh. it is the rule. the men!’ ‘But my dear!’ began Defarge.’ said madame.’ ‘It does not take a long time to strike a man with Lightning.’ ‘I am a little tired.’ said madame. 313 of 670 . the men. whose quick eyes had never been so intent on the accounts.’ said Defarge. then. raising her glance as she knotted the money. ‘But my dear!’ repeated madame. and so did the stock of rum and brandy and aniseed.’ repeated his wife. was ill-smelling. ‘it IS a long time. He whiffed the compound of scents away.

‘for an earthquake to swallow a town. for emphasis. consider the faces of all the world that we know. it is on the road and coming.’ said madame. ‘But when it is ready. ‘It does not take a long time. it takes place. though it is not seen or heard. That is your consolation. ‘that although it is a long time on the road. Look around and consider the lives of all the world that we know. Keep it. consider the rage and discontent to which the Jacquerie addresses itself with more and more of certainty every hour. I tell thee it is always advancing.’ said Defarge.’ 314 of 670 . it is always preparing. I suppose. and grinds to pieces everything before it.’ demanded madame. ‘I tell thee. Can such things last? Bah! I mock you. composedly. and never stops. extending her right hand.’ said madame. In the meantime.’ Defarge raised his head thoughtfully.A Tale of Two Cities ‘How long. as if there were something in that too. Eh well! Tell me how long it takes to prepare the earthquake?’ ‘A long time. I tell thee it never retreats.’ She tied a knot with flashing eyes. as if it throttled a foe. ‘does it take to make and store the lightning? Tell me.

with all my soul.’ ‘Yes! But it is your weakness that you sometimes need to see your victim and your opportunity. even if I knew certainly not. with her extended hand in strong action. But it has lasted a long time. my wife.’ returned Defarge. tying another knot. But even if not. that we shall see the triumph. let 315 of 670 . my dear. during our lives. as if there were another enemy strangled. will stop at nothing. ‘I do not question all this. I believe. ‘Nothing that we do. is done in vain.A Tale of Two Cities ‘My brave wife. tied a very terrible knot indeed. show me the neck of an aristocrat and tyrant. and still I would—‘ Then madame.’ ‘Eh well! How then?’ demanded madame. like a docile and attentive pupil before his catechist.’ returned madame. with a half complaining and half apologetic shrug. When the time comes. ‘Hold!’ cried Defarge. and it is possible—you know well. ‘I too. and his hands clasped at his back. standing before her with his head a little bent. ‘We shall not see the triumph. it is possible—that it may not come. with her teeth set. ‘Well!’ said Defarge.’ ‘We shall have helped it. to sustain you. Sustain yourself without that. reddening a little as if he felt charged with cowardice.

and heaps of flies. until they met the same fate. who were extending their inquisitive and adventurous perquisitions into all the glutinous little glasses near madame. who looked at them in the coolest manner (as if they themselves were elephants. There were a few customers.’ Madame enforced the conclusion of this piece of advice by striking her little counter with her chain of money as if she knocked its brains out. and then gathering the heavy handkerchief under her arm in a serene manner. sprinkled about. A rose lay beside her. standing or seated. drinking or not drinking. Curious to consider how heedless flies are!—perhaps they thought as much at Court that sunny summer day. knitting away assiduously. fell dead at the bottom. The day was very hot. 316 of 670 . it was with no infraction of her usual preoccupied air. and if she now and then glanced at the flower. Next noontide saw the admirable woman in her usual place in the wine-shop. but wait for the time with the tiger and the devil chained—not shown—yet always ready. and observing that it was time to go to bed. Their decease made no impression on the other flies out promenading.A Tale of Two Cities loose a tiger and a devil. or something as far removed).

The moment Madame Defarge took up the rose. thin.’ She said it aloud. It was curious. monsieur. The visitor watched 317 of 670 . ‘Marvellous cognac this. madame. She laid down her knitting.’ said the new-comer. but added to herself. and a mouthful of cool fresh water. and began to pin her rose in her headdress. madame. aquiline nose but not straight. black hair. age about forty. eyes dark. before she looked at the figure. and Madame Defarge knew enough of its antecedents to know better.’ Madame complied with a polite air. She said. as she resumed her knitting: ‘Hah! Good day. that the cognac was flattered. height about five feet nine. ‘Good day. and began gradually to drop out of the wine-shop. and took up her knitting. however. one and all!’ ‘Have the goodness to give me a little glass of old cognac. long and sallow face. generally rather handsome visage.A Tale of Two Cities A figure entering at the door threw a shadow on Madame Defarge which she felt to be a new one. having a peculiar inclination towards the left cheek which imparts a sinister expression! Good day. madame!’ It was the first time it had ever been so complemented. complexion dark. the customers ceased talking. ‘Good day.

I may find a use for it one day. ‘Not for use?’ ‘That depends. but had been able to detect no sign. The spy had kept his eyes open.A Tale of Two Cities her fingers for a few moments.’ ‘I am accustomed to it. and had been about to order drink. ‘I’ll use it!’ It was remarkable. but.’ said madame. they faltered. madame.’ said madame. May one ask what it is for?’ ‘Pastime. still looking at him with a smile while her fingers moved nimbly. catching sight of that novelty. of those who had been there when this visitor entered. was there one left. and went away. Nor.’ ‘A pretty pattern too!’ ‘YOU think so?’ said madame. They had all dropped off. when. ‘Decidedly. the taste of Saint Antoine seemed to be decidedly opposed to a rose on the headdress of Madame Defarge. and took the opportunity of observing the place in general. looking at him with a smile. drawing a breath and nodding her head with a stern kind of coquetry. Two men had entered separately. If I do— Well. They had lounged away 318 of 670 . made a pretence of looking about as if for some friend who was not there. ‘You knit with great skill.

‘Pardon me. is how to live. in a high voice. and deftly knitting an extra something into his name that boded him no good. and her eyes looked at the stranger.A Tale of Two Cities in a poverty-stricken. but you naturally think so.’ thought madame. checking off her work as her fingers knitted. too—as you say. from morning 319 of 670 . ‘Stay long enough. and I shall knit ‘BARSAD’ before you go. purposeless. the unfortunate.’ ‘Children?’ ‘No children. madame?’ ‘I have. here.’ madame retorted. and it gives us.’ ‘Ah. the people are so poor.’ ‘Business seems bad?’ ‘Business is very bad. correcting him.’ ‘I think?’ returned madame. ‘I and my husband have enough to do to keep this wine-shop open. quite natural and unimpeachable. All we think. without thinking. accidental manner. miserable people! So oppressed. ‘JOHN.’ ‘As YOU say.’ ‘You have a husband. certainly it was I who said so. Of course. That is the subject WE think of.

stood with an air of gossiping gallantry. I think for others? No.’ The spy. enough to think about.’ ‘Is there?’ asked madame. leaning his elbow on Madame Defarge’s little counter. ‘A bad business this.’ said the spy. of Gaspard’s execution. madame. vacantly. 320 of 670 . but.A Tale of Two Cities to night. ‘Is there not?’ ‘—Here is my husband!’ said Madame Defarge. they have to pay for it. who was there to pick up any crumbs he could find or make. ‘My faith!’ returned madame. without embarrassing our heads concerning others. ‘if people use knives for such purposes. He knew beforehand what the price of his luxury was. coolly and lightly. no. touching the poor fellow? Between ourselves. and occasionally sipping his cognac. Ah! the poor Gaspard!’ With a sigh of great compassion. he has paid the price. and expressing an injured revolutionary susceptibility in every muscle of his wicked face: ‘I believe there is much compassion and anger in this neighbourhood.’ ‘I believe. did not allow his baffled state to express itself in his sinister face. dropping his soft voice to a tone that invited confidence.

Jacques!’ Defarge stopped short. that they tell me there is— and no wonder!—much sympathy and anger in Saint Antoine. with an engaging smile.’ said Defarge. ‘I know nothing of it. ‘Good day. or quite so easy a smile under the stare. ‘You deceive yourself. and whom either of them would have shot with the greatest satisfaction. he passed behind the little counter. touching the unhappy fate of poor Gaspard. the spy saluted him by touching his hat. airily. ‘Good day.’ ‘It is all the same. ‘You mistake me for another. and saying. ‘I was saying to madame.’ ‘No one has told me so. That is not my name. with whom I had the pleasure of chatting when you entered. and stared at him. 321 of 670 . shaking his head.’ said the spy. Jacques!’ the spy repeated. drily. with not quite so much confidence. and stood with his hand on the back of his wife’s chair. looking over that barrier at the person to whom they were both opposed.’ returned the keeper of the wine-shop.A Tale of Two Cities As the keeper of the wine-shop entered at the door. but discomfited too: ‘good day!’ ‘Good day!’ answered Defarge. monsieur.’ Having said it. I am Ernest Defarge.

‘The pleasure of conversing with you. but always with brevity.’ pursued the spy. He was delivered to you. that he would do best to answer. with much indifference. but I hope to know it better. and hummed a little song over it. took a sip of fresh water. did not change his unconscious attitude. better than I do?’ observed Defarge. but drained his little glass of cognac. Madame Defarge poured it out for him.’ ‘Hah!’ muttered Defarge.’ ‘Indeed!’ said Defarge. his old domestic. You see I am informed of the circumstances?’ ‘Such is the fact.’ said Defarge. ‘Yes. had the charge of him. certainly. recalls to me. I know.A Tale of Two Cities The spy. ‘You seem to know this quarter well. you. and asked for another glass of cognac. Monsieur Defarge. He had had it conveyed to him. I am so profoundly interested in its miserable inhabitants. well used to his business. that is to say. took to her knitting again. 322 of 670 . ‘Not at all. ‘that I have the honour of cherishing some interesting associations with your name. indeed. When Doctor Manette was released. in an accidental touch of his wife’s elbow as she knitted and warbled.

it seems to me.’ ‘Perfectly so.A Tale of Two Cities ‘It was to you. in England.’ 323 of 670 . We received the news of their safe arrival. and perhaps another letter.’ ‘Oh! You know I am English.’ said Defarge. how is he called?—in a little wig—Lorry—of the bank of Tellson and Company—over to England.’ replied the spy. ‘Very interesting remembrances!’ said the spy. since then. madame. and it was from your care that his daughter took him. but.’ madame struck in.’ ‘Going?’ echoed madame. ‘I have known Doctor Manette and his daughter. ours—and we have held no correspondence. ‘You don’t hear much about them now?’ said the spy.’ said the spy. ‘She was pretty enough to have been married long ago. accompanied by a neat brown monsieur.’ ‘Such is the fact. ‘In effect. looking up from her work and her little song. ‘No. ‘She is going to be married.’ ‘Yes?’ said Defarge. ‘that his daughter came. You English are cold. they have gradually taken their road in life—we. ‘we never hear about them.’ repeated Defarge. or perhaps two.

for whom Gaspard was exalted to that height of so many feet. Charles Darnay. at least. After sipping his cognac to the end. he added: ‘Yes. he is Mr. he was troubled. behind the little counter. but he made the best of it. he is no Marquis there. Mr. to one who.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I perceive your tongue is. But he lives unknown in England. And speaking of Gaspard (ah. whatever it might prove to be worth. ‘and what the tongue is.’ returned madame. cruel!). Do what he would. it is a curious thing that she is going to marry the nephew of Monsieur the Marquis. The spy would have been no spy if he had failed to see it. poor Gaspard! It was cruel. like herself. or to record it in his mind. in a genteel 324 of 670 . I suppose the man is. in other words. and his hand was not trustworthy. the present Marquis. But not to an Englishman. is French by birth. as to the striking of a light and the lighting of his pipe. this one hit.’ Madame Defarge knitted steadily. and turned it off with a laugh. but the intelligence had a palpable effect upon her husband. Barsad paid for what he had drunk. D’Aulnais is the name of his mother’s family. and no customers coming in to help him to any other. Miss Manette is going to be married. and took his leave: taking occasion to say.’ He did not take the identification as a compliment. Having made.

’ ‘If it is—’ Defarge began. in a low voice. Destiny will keep her husband out of France. is it not very strange’—said Defarge. after all our sympathy for Monsieur her father. before he departed. for her sake. ‘it is probably false. But it may be true. For some minutes after he had emerged into the outer presence of Saint Antoine. That is all I know. looking down at his wife as he stood smoking with his hand on the back of her chair: ‘what he has said of Ma’amselle Manette?’ ‘As he has said it. ‘If it is?’ repeated his wife. that he looked forward to the pleasure of seeing Monsieur and Madame Defarge again. ‘will take him where he is to go. while we live to see it triumph—I hope.’ ‘But it is very strange—now.’ ‘Her husband’s destiny.’ returned madame. lest he should come back. rather pleading with his wife to induce her to admit it. ‘Can it be true.A Tale of Two Cities manner. her husband’s name 325 of 670 .’ said Defarge. and will lead him to the end that is to end him. at least.’ said Madame Defarge. with her usual composure. the husband and wife remained exactly as he had left them. and stopped. ‘—And if it does come. lifting her eyebrows a little. ‘that. and herself.

In the evening. and the wine-shop recovered its habitual aspect. and presently took the rose out of the handkerchief that was wound about her head. Madame Defarge with her work in her hand was accustomed to pass from place to place and from group to group: a Missionary—there were many like her—such as the world will do well never to breed again. Either Saint Antoine had an instinctive sense that the objectionable decoration was gone.A Tale of Two Cities should be proscribed under your hand at this moment. for a breath of air. of a certainty. the Saint took courage to lounge in.’ She roiled up her knitting when she had said those words. at which season of all others Saint Antoine turned himself inside out. ‘I have them both here. and they are both here for their merits. the mechanical work was a mechanical substitute for eating and drinking. that is enough. very shortly afterwards. but. They knitted worthless things. by the side of that infernal dog’s who has just left us?’ ‘Stranger things than that will happen when it does come.’ answered madame. or Saint Antoine was on the watch for its disappearance. and sat on door-steps and window-ledges. the hands 326 of 670 . howbeit. All the women knitted. and came to the corners of vile streets and courts.

when the military drums should be beating to drown a wretched voice. and then came the ringing of church bells and the distant beating of the military drums in the Palace Courtyard.’ said he. And as Madame Defarge moved on from group to group.A Tale of Two Cities moved for the jaws and the digestive apparatus: if the bony fingers had been still. all three went quicker and fiercer among every little knot of women that she had spoken with. that they their very selves were closing in around a structure yet unbuilt. 327 of 670 . should be melted into thundering cannon. &#x2018. Her husband smoked at his door. the stomachs would have been more famine-pinched. knitting. ‘A great woman. But. when the church bells. and left behind.a strong woman. and the thoughts. looking after her with admiration. Another darkness was closing in as surely. So much was closing in about the women who sat knitting. a grand woman. Darkness encompassed them. a frightfully grand woman!’ Darkness closed around. the eyes went. as the women sat knitting. that night all potent as the voice of Power and Plenty. then ringing pleasantly in many an airy steeple over France. knitting. Freedom and Life. as the fingers went.

counting dropping heads. 328 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities where they were to sit knitting. knitting.

than one memorable evening when the Doctor and his daughter sat under the plane-tree together. and nothing could make it so. she had neither engaged herself in her usual work. She had employed herself in both ways. and shone upon their faces through its leaves. my dear father?’ ‘Quite. ‘You are happy. and they sat alone under the plane-tree. nor had she read to him. though they had been there a long time. many and many a time. this time was not quite like any other. my child. Lucie was to be married to-morrow. When it was yet light enough to work and read. She had reserved this last evening for her father. Never did the moon rise with a milder radiance over great London. but. at his side under the tree. 329 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities XVII One Night Never did the sun go down with a brighter glory on the quiet corner in Soho. than on that night when it found them still seated under the tree.’ They had said little.

and laid her face upon his breast. will ever interpose between us? I know it well. than it could have been—nay. as the light of the sun itself is—as the light called human life is—at its coming and its going. ‘Quite sure. quite sure. my darling! More than that. no new affections of mine. and no new duties of mine. I am deeply happy in the love that Heaven has so blessed—my love for Charles. seen through your marriage. In the moonlight which is always sad. she clasped him by the neck. if my life were not to be still consecrated to you. Lucie. that you feel quite. than it ever was—without it. my father!—‘ 330 of 670 .’ he added. but do you know it? In your own heart. dear father. this last time. or if my marriage were so arranged as that it would part us. as he tenderly kissed her: ‘my future is far brighter. and Charles’s love for me. But. Even as it is—‘ Even as it was. with a cheerful firmness of conviction he could scarcely have assumed. even by the length of a few of these streets. she could not command her voice. do you feel quite certain?’ Her father answered. In the sad moonlight.A Tale of Two Cities ‘And I am very happy to-night. ‘Dearest dear! Can you tell me. I should be more unhappy and selfreproachful now than I can tell you.’ ‘If I could hope THAT.

It gave her 331 of 670 . you did see him. cannot fully appreciate the anxiety I have felt that your life should not be wasted—‘ She moved her hand towards his lips. devoted and young. except at the trial. Your unselfishness cannot entirely comprehend how much my mind has gone on this. If it had not been Charles. how could my happiness be perfect. if it had been no other. I should have been the cause. Consider how natural and how plain it is. only ask yourself. ‘—wasted. my father. love! Indeed it is so. having seen him. and it is Charles. You. but. struck aside from the natural order of things—for my sake. Or. I should have been quite happy with you. while yours was incomplete?’ ‘If I had never seen Charles. that it should be so. and would have fallen on you. of her ever hearing him refer to the period of his suffering.’ He smiled at her unconscious admission that she would have been unhappy without Charles. and repeated the word. my dear. but he took it in his. and then the dark part of my life would have cast its shadow beyond myself. it would have been another.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Believe it. and replied: ‘My child.’ It was the first time. my child—should not be wasted.

but. and the number of perpendicular lines with which I could intersect them.’ He added in his inward and pondering manner. that I have thought of nothing but the number of horizontal lines I could draw across her at the full. ‘It was twenty either way.A Tale of Two Cities a strange and new sensation while his words were in her ears. deepened as he dwelt upon it. raising his hand towards the moon. Whether it was alive. Whether it was a 332 of 670 . He only seemed to contrast his present cheerfulness and felicity with the dire endurance that was over. ‘I have looked at her. or the poor mother’s shock had killed it. there was nothing to shock her in the manner of his reference. speculating thousands of times upon the unborn child from whom I had been rent. when I could not bear her light. I remember. ‘I have looked at her from my prisonwindow. in a state so dun and lethargic. I have looked at her when it has been such torture to me to think of her shining upon what I had lost. and she remembered it long afterwards. as he looked at the moon. Whether it had been born alive. I have looked at her. and the twentieth was difficult to squeeze in. ‘See!’ said the Doctor of Beauvais.’ The strange thrill with which she heard him go back to that time. that I have beaten my head against my prison-walls.

She cared nothing for you. and unconscious of me. year after year. that these remembrances arise. who might even live to weigh the possibility of his father’s having disappeared of his own will and act. to myself.’ ‘My father! Even to hear that you had such thoughts of a daughter who never existed. as perfectly forgetful of me —rather.’ ‘You. and in the next generation my place was a blank.A Tale of Two Cities son who would some day avenge his father. when my desire for vengeance was unbearable. (There was a time in my imprisonment. ‘I have pictured my daughter. I have seen her married to a man who knew nothing of my fate. strikes to my heart as if I had been that child.) Whether it was a son who would never know his father’s story.—What did I say just now?’ ‘She knew nothing of you. I have altogether perished from the remembrance of the living.’ 333 of 670 . I have cast up the years of her age. altogether ignorant of me. Whether it was a daughter who would grow to be a woman. and pass between us and the moon on this last night.’ She drew closer to him. Lucie? It is out of the Consolation and restoration you have brought to me. and kissed his cheek and his hand.

it stood between the little grated window and the door. Lucie? Hardly. I have seen her image in the moonlight often. But. Can you follow me.’ His collected and calm manner could not prevent her blood from running cold. when the sadness and the silence have touched me in a different way—have affected me with something as like a sorrowful sense of peace. and leading me out into the freedom beyond the fortress. I think? I doubt you must have been a solitary prisoner to understand these perplexed distinctions. the fancy?’ ‘No. Of her outward appearance I know no more than that she was like her mother. except that I never held her in my arms. That was another thing.A Tale of Two Cities ‘So! But on other moonlight nights. the—the—image. 334 of 670 . It stood before my disturbed sense of sight. you understand that that was not the child I am speaking of?’ ‘The figure was not. as he thus tried to anatomise his old condition. as I now see you. was another and more real child. The phantom that my mind pursued. The other had that likeness too —as you have—but was not the same. but it never moved. as any emotion that had pain for its foundations could—I have imagined her as coming to me in my cell.

’ ‘And she showed me her children. I hope.’ 335 of 670 . I fell upon my knees. cheerful. Her life was active. my father. but my poor history pervaded it all. in the moonlight. my father. and blessed her. O my dear.A Tale of Two Cities ‘In that more peaceful state. I recall these old troubles in the reason that I have to-night for loving you better than words can tell.’ ‘I was that child. useful. and looked up at its bars. I imagined that she always brought me back after showing me such things. will you bless me as fervently to-morrow?’ ‘Lucie. and had been taught to pity me. my dear. but in my love that was I. My thoughts. I have imagined her. they kept far from its frowning walls.’ ‘I am that child. and spoke in whispers. When they passed a prison of the State. and thanking God for my great happiness. coming to me and taking me out to show me that the home of her married life was full of her loving remembrance of her lost father. ‘and they had heard of me. blessed with the relief of tears. when they were wildest.’ said the Doctor of Beauvais. My picture was in her room. and I was in her prayers. But then. She could never deliver me. never rose near the happiness that I have known with you. I was not half so good. and that we have before us.

and his hands lying quiet on the coverlet. there was even to be no bridesmaid but the gaunt Miss Pross. the time came for him to bid Lucie good night. Lucie came downstairs again. in the stillness of the third hour of the morning. Lorry. But. and humbly thanked Heaven for having bestowed her on him. were in their places.A Tale of Two Cities He embraced her. and they separated. however. She put her needless candle in the shadow at a 336 of 670 . The marriage was to make no change in their place of residence. solemnly commended her to Heaven. not free from unshaped fears. Doctor Manette was very cheerful at the little supper. They were only three at table. beforehand. and they desired nothing more. by taking to themselves the upper rooms formerly belonging to the apocryphal invisible lodger. and he lay asleep. and stole into his room. So. All things. his white hair picturesque on the untroubled pillow. There was no one bidden to the marriage but Mr. was more than half disposed to object to the loving little plot that kept him away. all was quiet. they went into the house. they had been able to extend it. By-and-bye. and Miss Pross made the third. and drank to him affectionately. He regretted that Charles was not there.

A more remarkable face in its quiet. and kissed his lips once more. 337 of 670 . that night. that he held the mastery of them even in his sleep. as softly as her lips had moved in praying for him.A Tale of Two Cities distance. leaned over him. and as his sorrows deserved. Then. then. and looked at him. the sunrise came. and went away. and put up a prayer that she might ever be as true to him as her love aspired to be. and guarded struggle with an unseen assailant. and the shadows of the leaves of the plane-tree moved upon his face. and put her lips to his. Into his handsome face. She timidly laid her hand on his dear breast. but. he covered up their tracks with a determination so strong. the bitter waters of captivity had worn. So. resolute. was not to be beheld in all the wide dominions of sleep. she withdrew her hand. crept up to his bed.

’ said Mr. would have been one of absolute bliss. who could not sufficiently admire the bride. my sweet Lucie. ‘and so it was for this. ‘YOU are. but don’t cry. that I brought you across the Channel. Charles!’ ‘You didn’t mean it.’ said Miss Pross. Lorry. and Miss Pross—to whom the event. the beautiful bride.’ remarked the matter-of-fact Miss Pross. through a gradual process of reconcilement to the inevitable. Mr. where he was speaking with Charles Darnay. ‘I am not crying.A Tale of Two Cities XVIII Nine Days The marriage-day was shining brightly. and they were ready outside the closed door of the Doctor’s room. pretty dress. Lorry. and who had been moving round her to take in every point of her quiet.’ 338 of 670 . ‘And so. such a baby’ Lord bless me’ How little I thought what I was doing! How lightly I valued the obligation I was conferring on my friend Mr. They were ready to go to church.’ said the gentle Mr. ‘and therefore how could you know it? Nonsense!’ ‘Really? Well. Lorry. but for the yet lingering consideration that her brother Solomon should have been the bridegroom.

beamingly adjusting his little wig. ‘Pooh!’ rejoined Miss Pross.) ‘You were.’ said Mr. ‘that seems probable. ‘that I didn’t cry over. I saw you do it.’ 339 of 670 . I had no intention of rendering those trifling articles of remembrance invisible to any one. ‘before you were put in your cradle.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I. just now. Lorry. Dear. upon my honour.’ ‘I am highly gratified.’ said Miss Pross. ‘though. Lorry?’ asked the gentleman of that name. is enough to bring tears into anybody’s eyes.’ pursued Miss Pross.’ ‘And you were cut out for a bachelor. ‘you were a bachelor in your cradle. and I don’t wonder at it.’ ‘Well!’ observed Mr. last night after the box came. Lorry. Mr. dear! To think that there might have been a Mrs. on occasion. dear. too. Lorry. my Pross?’ (By this time. There’s not a fork or a spoon in the collection. Such a present of plate as you have made ‘em. Dear me! This is an occasion that makes a man speculate on all he has lost. ‘You think there never might have been a Mrs. till I couldn’t see it. Lorry dared to be pleasant with her. any time these fifty years almost!’ ‘Not at all!’ From Miss Pross.

’ For a moment. if such things be old-fashioned. on your other fortnight’s trip in Wales. and then laid the bright golden hair against his little brown wig.’ drawing his arm soothingly round her waist. I hear Somebody’s step coming to the door. and Miss Pross and I. are anxious not to lose the final opportunity of saying something to you that you wish to hear. ‘I hear them moving in the next room. You leave your good father. while you are in Warwickshire and thereabouts. my dear. he comes to join you and your beloved husband. you shall say that we have sent him to you in the best health and in the happiest frame. Lorry. he held the fair face from him to look at the well-remembered expression on the forehead. and that I ought to have had a voice in the selection of my pattern. 340 of 670 . And when. ‘that I was very unhandsomely dealt with. were as old as Adam. Enough! Now. Let me kiss my dear girl with an old-fashioned bachelor blessing. I think. Now. in hands as earnest and as loving as your own. he shall be taken every conceivable care of. before Somebody comes to claim his own. my dear Lucie.’ said Mr. with a genuine tenderness and delicacy which.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Then. at the fortnight’s end. during the next fortnight. even Tellson’s shall go to the wall (comparatively speaking) before him. as two formal folks of business.

glanced on the bride’s hand. and soon. He was so deadly pale—which had not been the case when they went in together—that no vestige of colour was to be seen in his face. 341 of 670 . like a cold wind. Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette were happily married. Lorry’s pockets. Lorry had hired in honour of the day. They returned home to breakfast. He gave his arm to his daughter. except that to the shrewd glance of Mr. in a neighbouring church. and took her downstairs to the chariot which Mr. were mingled with them again in the morning sunlight. The rest followed in another carriage. some diamonds.A Tale of Two Cities The door of the Doctor’s room opened. Besides the glancing tears that shone among the smiles of the little group when it was done. very bright and sparkling. on the threshold of the door at parting. in the composure of his manner he was unaltered. Lorry it disclosed some shadowy indication that the old air of avoidance and dread had lately passed over him. But. and in due course the golden hair that had mingled with the poor shoemaker’s white locks in the Paris garret. where no strange eyes looked on. and he came out with Charles Darnay. which were newly released from the dark obscurity of one of Mr. and all went well.

so I 342 of 670 . Lorry. ‘I think. He had naturally repressed much. or at all disturb him. gently disengaging himself from her enfolding arms. and the preparations having been very simple and few. Charles! She is yours!’ And her agitated hand waved to them from a chaise window. Mr. that Mr. and some revulsion might have been expected in him when the occasion for repression was gone. It was when they turned into the welcome shade of the cool old hall. were left quite alone. had struck him a poisoned blow. I must look in at Tellson’s. ‘Take her. Lorry observed a great change to have come over the Doctor. Mr. Lorry was reminded of Defarge the wine-shop keeper. it was the old scared lost look that troubled Mr. The corner being out of the way of the idle and curious. Lorry. ‘I think we had best not speak to him just now. and the starlight ride. and said at last. But.’ he whispered to Miss Pross. and Miss Pross.A Tale of Two Cities It was a hard parting. the Doctor. But her father cheered her. after anxious consideration. and she was gone. as if the golden arm uplifted there. though it was not for long. and through his absent manner of clasping his head and drearily wandering away into his own room when they got up-stairs.

with a terrified face. and dine there. half as if he were angry at being spoken to— and bent over his work again. he ascended the old staircase alone. ‘What’s that?’ Miss Pross. He was detained two hours. Then. The bench was turned towards the light. we will take him a ride into the country. having asked no question of the servant. and went himself into the Doctor’s room. as it had been when he had seen the shoemaker at his work before. ‘Doctor Manette. When he came back. and his head was bent down. ‘O me.’ It was easier for Mr. with a start. Doctor Manette!’ The Doctor looked at him for a moment—half inquiringly. and is making shoes!’ Mr. ‘What is to be told to Ladybird? He doesn’t know me. ‘Good God!’ he said. and all will be well.A Tale of Two Cities will go there at once and come back presently. wringing her hands. Lorry said what he could to calm her. than to look out of Tellson’s. going thus into the Doctor’s rooms. Lorry to look in at Tellson’s. and he was very busy. 343 of 670 . O me! All is lost!’ cried she. he was stopped by a low sound of knocking. My dear friend. was at his ear.

dear friend!’ Nothing would induce him to speak more. Mr. that he sometimes furtively looked up 344 of 670 . for an instant at a time. and worked. Let it be. his shirt was open at the throat. without pausing in his work. ‘A young lady’s walking shoe. Look at me!’ He obeyed. and even the old haggard. Lorry could discover. no persuasion would extract a word from him. Doctor Manette. He took up another that was lying by him. and words fell on him as they would have fallen on an echoless wall. He looked up. but. when he was requested to do so. or on the air. Think. This is not your proper occupation. in the old mechanically submissive manner. and asked what it was. faded surface of face had come back to him. Lorry glanced at the work in his hand. and worked. He worked hard— impatiently—as if in some sense of having been interrupted. The only ray of hope that Mr.’ ‘But. in silence. ‘You know me. and observed that it was a shoe of the old size and shape.A Tale of Two Cities He had laid aside his coat and waistcoat. was. ‘It ought to have been finished long ago. my dear friend? Think again. as it used to be when he did that work. He worked.’ he muttered. without looking up.

Two things at once impressed themselves on Mr. the first. he kept another course in reserve. advisable to be taken in any case. with as little appearance as possible of doing so. Miss Pross was to write. that this must be kept secret from Lucie. Lorry resolved to watch him attentively. and of resort to this third course being thereby rendered practicable. and required a few days of complete rest. on the Doctor’s case.A Tale of Two Cities without being asked. describing his having been called away professionally. represented to have been addressed to her by the same post. the second. as important above all others. Lorry took in the hope of his coming to himself. Lorry. that it must be kept secret from all who knew him. Mr. In aid of the kind deception to be practised on his daughter. In conjunction with Miss Pross. to have a certain opinion that he thought the best. which was. there seemed a faint expression of curiosity or perplexity—as though he were trying to reconcile some doubts in his mind. he took immediate steps towards the latter precaution. Mr. These measures. In that. by giving out that the Doctor was not well. If that should happen soon. and referring to an imaginary letter of two or three hurried lines in his own hand. He therefore made arrangements to 345 of 670 . In the hope of his recovery.

for a walk with me. to read or write. half an hour after Mr. therefore. He abandoned that attempt on the first day. Doctor Manette took what was given him to eat and drink. until it was too dark to see—worked on. and worked on. or was falling. Mr. Lorry could not have seen. and resolved merely to keep himself always before him. and expressing in as many pleasant and natural ways as he could think of. looked up in the old manner. reading and writing. in his seat near the window. that first day. He remained. When he put his tools aside as useless. and repeated in the old low voice: ‘Out?’ ‘Yes. since. Lorry rose and said to him: ‘Will you go out?’ He looked down at the floor on either side of him in the old manner. for his life. and took his post by the window in the same room. Why not?’ 346 of 670 . he became worried. until morning. as a silent protest against the delusion into which he had fallen. that it was a free place. on being pressed. He was not long in discovering that it was worse than useless to speak to him.A Tale of Two Cities absent himself from Tellson’s for the first time in his life.

they quietly spoke of Lucie. ‘Why not?’ The sagacity of the man of business perceived an advantage here. with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. and observed him at intervals from the adjoining room. Lorry thought he saw. however confusedly. and said not a word more. but. But. he was up betimes. as he leaned forward on his bench in the dusk. Lorry saluted him cheerfully by his name. and it lightened Mr. He paced up and down for a long time before he lay down. he fell asleep. Mr. Miss Pross and he divided the night into two watches. not long enough. at those times. In the morning. This encouraged Mr.A Tale of Two Cities He made no effort to say why not. and that he thought about it. and of her father then present. and spoke to him on topics that had been of late familiar to them. several times during the day. but it was evident that he heard what was said. This was done without any demonstrative accompaniment. On this second day. Lorry’s friendly 347 of 670 . and determined to hold it. He returned no reply. that he was in some misty way asking himself. precisely in the usual manner. Lorry to have Miss Pross in with her work. and went straight to his bench and to work. or often enough to harass him. when he did finally lay himself down. and as if there were nothing amiss. Mr.

and his heart grew heavier again. The time went very slowly on. and. after remaining absent for an hour. returned. but he could not fail to observe that the shoemaker. will you go out?’ As before. Lorry’s return. Why not?’ This time. The secret was well kept. and that he had never 348 of 670 . the Doctor had removed to the seat in the window. six days. nine days. and Lucie was unconscious and happy. Five days. eight days. for a walk with me. Lorry’s hope darkened. he repeated. Lorry feigned to go out when he could extract no answer from him. ‘Out?’ ‘Yes. whose hand had been a little out at first.A Tale of Two Cities heart to believe that he looked up oftener. When it fell dark again. With a hope ever darkening. Lorry asked him as before: ‘Dear Doctor. be slipped away to his bench. on Mr. the fifth. and that he appeared to be stirred by some perception of inconsistencies surrounding him. Lorry passed through this anxious time. but. Mr. and Mr. seven days. In the meanwhile. was growing dreadfully skilful. and with a heart always growing heavier and heavier. and had sat there looking down at the plane-tree. the fourth. The third day came and went. Mr. Mr. and grew yet heavier and heavier every day.

as in the dusk of the ninth evening.A Tale of Two Cities been so intent on his work. 349 of 670 . and that his hands had never been so nimble and expert.

he perceived that the shoemaker’s bench and tools were put aside again. Mr.A Tale of Two Cities XIX An Opinion Worn out by anxious watching. and that the Doctor himself sat reading at the window. was calmly studious and attentive. and employed as usual. For. did not his eyes show him his friend before him in his accustomed clothing and aspect. Mr. he was startled by the shining of the sun into the room where a heavy slumber had overtaken him when it was dark night. for. Lorry could distinctly see). and was there any sign within their range. whether he was not still asleep. He was in his usual morning dress. that the change of which he had so strong an impression had actually happened? 350 of 670 . Lorry felt giddily uncertain for some few moments whether the late shoemaking might not be a disturbed dream of his own. going to the door of the Doctor’s room and looking in. Even when he had satisfied himself that he was awake. On the tenth morning of his suspense. though still very pale. and his face (which Mr. when he had done so. but he doubted. Lorry fell asleep at his post. He rubbed his eyes and roused himself.

The Doctor was summoned in the usual way. and with his usual neat leg. If he appeared to be in his customary state of mind. If the impression were not produced by a real corresponding and sufficient cause. Miss Pross stood whispering at his side. Lorry presented himself at the breakfast-hour in his usual white linen. Miss Pross. submitting herself to his judgment. in his clothes. and should then meet the Doctor as if nothing unusual had occurred. on the sofa in Doctor Manette’s consulting-room.A Tale of Two Cities It was but the inquiry of his first confusion and astonishment. in his anxiety. her talk would of necessity have resolved it. 351 of 670 . the scheme was worked out with care. and came to breakfast. Mr. Jarvis Lorry. He advised that they should let the time go by until the regular breakfast-hour. but he was by that time clear-headed. so anxious to obtain. there? How came he to have fallen asleep. the answer being obvious. If he had had any particle of doubt left. Mr. Lorry would then cautiously proceed to seek direction and guidance from the opinion he had been. how came he. and had none. Having abundance of time for his usual methodical toilette. and to be debating these points outside the Doctor’s bedroom door in the early morning? Within a few minutes.

Mr.A Tale of Two Cities So far as it was possible to comprehend him without overstepping those delicate and gradual approaches which Mr. he at first supposed that his daughter’s marriage had taken place yesterday. feelingly: ‘My dear Manette. perhaps. touching him affectionately on the arm. he was so composedly himself. 352 of 670 . it is very curious to me. and evidently made him uneasy. and listened attentively.’ said Mr. on a very curious case in which I am deeply interested. which were discoloured by his late work. An incidental allusion. Pray give your mind to it. when the breakfast was done and cleared away. Lorry said. He had already glanced at his hands more than once. In all other respects. Lorry. ‘the case is the case of a particularly dear friend of mine. and he and the Doctor were left together. to the day of the week. purposely thrown out. I am anxious to have your opinion. in confidence. to your better information it may be less so. that Mr. however.’ Glancing at his hands. Therefore. the Doctor looked troubled. Lorry determined to have the aid he sought. Lorry felt to be the only safe advance. that is to say. and the day of the month. And that aid was his own. ‘Doctor Manette. set him thinking and counting.

the—the—as you express it—the mind. and there are no other means of getting at it. It is the case of a shock from which the sufferer recovered.’ said the Doctor.’ ‘If I understand. one cannot say for how long. and proceeded.’ he paused and took a deep breath—‘a slight relapse. ‘Spare no detail. Lorry saw that they understood one another. It is the case of a shock from which he has recovered.A Tale of Two Cities and advise me well for his sake—and above all. But. of great acuteness and severity to the affections. The mind.’ 353 of 670 . ‘My dear Manette. for his daughter’s—his daughter’s. the feelings. by a process that he cannot trace himself—as I once heard him publicly relate in a striking manner.’ Mr. there has been. capable of close application of mind. It is the case of a shock under which the sufferer was borne down. my dear Manette. in a subdued tone. unfortunately. as to be a highly intelligent man. ‘some mental shock—?’ ‘Yes!’ ‘Be explicit. it is the case of an old and a prolonged shock. and great exertion of body.’ said the Doctor. and of constantly making fresh additions to his stock of knowledge. because I believe he cannot calculate the time himself. so completely. which was already very large.

’ ‘Now. and neither of the two spoke for a little while. distinctly and collectedly. Lorry grasped his hand in return.’ asked the Doctor. did you ever see him. Does his daughter know of the relapse?’ ‘No. was he in most respects—or in all respects—as he was then?’ ‘I think in all respects. 354 of 670 .’ ‘You spoke of his daughter. though in the same low voice.’ ‘How did it show itself? I infer.A Tale of Two Cities The Doctor. It is known only to myself. ‘Of how long duration?’ ‘Nine days and nights.’ ‘And when the relapse fell on him.’ glancing at his hands again. That was very thoughtful!’ Mr.’ The Doctor grasped his hand. in a low voice. and to one other who may be trusted. ‘engaged in that pursuit originally?’ ‘Once. asked. It has been kept from her. ‘in the resumption of some old pursuit connected with the shock?’ ‘That is the fact. and murmured. and I hope will always be kept from her. ‘That was very kind.

Lorry. If your sagacity.’ said the Doctor. Tell me. at length. There is no man in this world on whom I could so rely for right guidance. and experience. in his most considerate and most affectionate way. breaking silence with an effort. my dear Manette. than I am to serve mine. if I knew how. Pray discuss it with me. and teach me how to be a little more useful. and unfit to cope with such intricate and difficult matters. knowledge.’ said Mr. ‘I think it probable. in such a case.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Now. I can do so little.’ 355 of 670 . was not quite unforeseen by its subject. how does this relapse come about? Is there danger of another? Could a repetition of it be prevented? How should a repetition of it be treated? How does it come about at all? What can I do for my friend? No man ever can have been more desirous in his heart to serve a friend. my dear friend. I might be able to do so much. ‘I am a mere man of business. unenlightened and undirected. could put me on the right track. ‘that the relapse you have described. pray enable me to see it a little more clearly. as on you. Lorry did not press him. and Mr. I do not possess the kind of information necessary. But I don’t know how to originate. I want guiding. I do not possess the kind of intelligence.’ Doctor Manette sat meditating after these earnest words were spoken.

gently laying his hand on the Doctor’s arm again. after a short silence on both sides. and how difficult—how almost impossible—it is. for him to force himself to utter a word upon the topic that oppresses him. ‘be sensibly relieved if he could prevail upon himself to impart that secret brooding to any one.’ ‘Would he. Lorry.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Was it dreaded by him?’ Mr. It is probable that there had long been a dread lurking in his mind. ‘that there had been a strong and extraordinary revival of the train of thought and remembrance that was the first cause of the malady. He tried to 356 of 670 .’ returned Doctor Manette. I even believe it—in some cases—to be quite impossible. when it is on him?’ ‘I think so. that those associations would be recalled—say. ‘Very much. But it is.’ He said it with an involuntary shudder. next to impossible. as I have told you.’ ‘Now. under certain circumstances—say. I think.’ said Mr. Lorry.’ asked Mr. Some intense associations of a most distressing nature were vividly recalled. Lorry ventured to ask. ‘to what would you refer this attack? ‘ ‘I believe. ‘You have no idea how such an apprehension weighs on the sufferer’s mind. on a particular occasion.

’ said Mr. I should have great hope. The Doctor looked desolately round the room. ‘I should have great hope.A Tale of Two Cities prepare himself in vain. Lorry. bending his head with reverence. I am thankful!’ said Mr. As it pleased Heaven in its mercy to restore him so soon. in a low voice. well! That’s good comfort. Lorry. long dreaded and long vaguely foreseen and contended against. ‘As to the future. I may go on?’ ‘You cannot do your friend a better service. yielding under the pressure of a complicated something.’ ‘Would he remember what took place in the relapse?’ asked Mr. I should hope that the worst was over. ‘I am thankful!’ repeated the Doctor. He. and unusually energetic. ‘To the first. shook his head. Lorry. He is of a studious habit. perhaps the effort to prepare himself made him less able to bear it. ‘on which I am anxious to be instructed. then. ‘Not at all. with natural hesitation.’ said the Doctor. recovering firmness. he applies himself with great ardour 357 of 670 .’ ‘Well. ‘There are two other points. and recovering after the cloud had burst and passed.’ ‘Now. and answered.’ hinted Mr. as to the future. Lorry.’ The Doctor gave him his hand.

the more it would be in danger of turning in the unhealthy direction. The less it was occupied with healthy things. I think that.’ ‘Excuse me.A Tale of Two Cities to the acquisition of professional knowledge. as a persistent man of business. ‘that anything but the one train of association would renew it. that he WAS overworked. natural to it. to the conducting of experiments. in part. it would show itself in some renewal of this disorder?’ ‘I do not think so. and after his recovery. the result of affliction. Assuming for a moment. does he do too much?’ ‘I think not. nothing but some extraordinary jarring of that chord could renew it. if he were overworked now—‘ ‘My dear Lorry. and made the discovery. Now. to many things. and it needs a counterweight. I doubt if that could easily be. After what has happened. It may be the character of his mind. There has been a violent stress in one direction. henceforth. to be always in singular need of occupation. That may be.’ ‘You are sure that he is not under too great a strain?’ ‘I think I am quite sure of it. He may have observed himself.’ ‘My dear Manette. I find it difficult to imagine any such violent 358 of 670 . I do not think.’ said Doctor Manette with the firmness of self-conviction. in part.

and approached his second and last point.’ He spoke with the diffidence of a man who knew how slight a thing would overset the delicate organisation of the mind. He felt it to be the most difficult of all. to work at a little forge. We will say that he was unexpectedly found at his forge again. but.A Tale of Two Cities sounding of that string again. remembering his old Sunday morning conversation with Miss Pross. Blacksmith’s work. and I almost believe. ‘we will call—Blacksmith’s work. in his bad time. He professed himself more relieved and encouraged than he really was. clearing his throat. ‘The occupation resumed under the influence of this passing affliction so happily recovered from. and beat his foot nervously on the ground. and remembering what he had seen in the last nine days. and yet with the confidence of a man who had slowly won his assurance out of personal endurance and distress. that he had been used. Lorry. he knew that he must face it. to put a case and for the sake of illustration. that the circumstances likely to renew it are exhausted. It was not for his friend to abate that confidence. We will say.’ said Mr. 359 of 670 . I trust. Is it not a pity that he should keep it by him?’ The Doctor shaded his forehead with his hand.

the innermost workings of this poor man’s mind. the idea that he might need that old employment. the Doctor. no doubt it relieved his pain so much. with an anxious look at his friend. ‘You see. ‘You do not find it easy to advise me?’ said Mr. like that which one may fancy strikes to the heart of a lost child. consistently. would it not be better that he should let it go?’ Still. beat his foot nervously on the ground. with shaded forehead. Lorry. the ingenuity of the hands. by substituting the perplexity of the fingers for the perplexity of the brain.’ 360 of 670 . and even speaks of himself with a kind of confidence. turning to him after an uneasy pause. when I believe he is more hopeful of himself than he has ever been.’ said Doctor Manette. gives him a sudden sense of terror. Even now. and it was so welcome when it came.A Tale of Two Cities ‘He has always kept it by him. And yet I think—’ And there he shook his head. and stopped. ‘Now. and not find it. ‘I quite understand it to be a nice question. He once yearned so frightfully for that occupation. as he became more practised. for the ingenuity of the mental torture. that he has never been able to bear the thought of putting it quite out of his reach. Lorry.’ said Mr. ‘it is very hard to explain. and by substituting.

let him miss his old companion after an absence.’ said the Doctor. Lorry. Let it be removed when he is not there. my dear Manette!’ Very strange to see what a struggle there was within him! ‘In her name. too. I would not take it away while he was present. I only want your authority. my dear Manette. to keep the forge?’ There was another silence.’ ‘I would not keep it. But. like a dear good man. for he gained in firmness as he saw the Doctor disquieted. ‘You see. tremulously. ‘I would recommend him to sacrifice it. shaking his head. Lorry’s face. might not the fear go with it? In short.’ said Mr. ‘it is such an old companion. then. is it not a concession to the misgiving. Come! Give me your authority. as a plodding man of business who only deals with such material objects as guineas. I sanction it. shillings.A Tale of Two Cities He looked like his illustration. I am sure it does no good. and bank-notes—may not the retention of the thing involve the retention of the idea? If the thing were gone. For his daughter’s sake. ‘But may not—mind! I ask for information. as he raised his eyes to Mr. let it be done.’ 361 of 670 .

attended by Miss Pross carrying a light. like accomplices in a horrible crime. 362 of 670 . Mr. Mr. The precaution that had been taken to account for his silence. that Mr. Lorry and Miss Pross. and the Doctor was quite restored. Lorry had previously explained to him. saw. Mr. chisel. and on the fourteenth day he went away to join Lucie and her husband. in her grimness. indeed. They passed the day in the country. On the night of the day on which he left the house. The burning of the body (previously reduced to pieces convenient for the purpose) was commenced without delay in the kitchen fire. she was no unsuitable figure. and hammer. shoes. and the conference was ended. and in a mysterious and guilty manner. So wicked do destruction and secrecy appear to honest minds.A Tale of Two Cities Mr. while Miss Pross held the candle as if she were assisting at a murder—for which. almost felt. and she had no suspicions. and he had written to Lucie in accordance with it. were buried in the garden. Lorry hacked the shoemaker’s bench to pieces. On the three following days he remained perfectly well. while engaged in the commission of their deed and in the removal of its traces. Lorry went into his room with a chopper. There. and almost looked. and the tools. Lorry readily engaged for that. and leather. with closed doors.

and of speaking to him when no one overheard. which was new to the observation of Charles Darnay. He watched his opportunity of taking Darnay aside into a window.’ ‘You are good enough to say so. I don’t mean any fashion of speech. They had not been at home many hours. as a fashion of speech. the first person who appeared.’ said Carton. when he presented himself.A Tale of Two Cities XX A Plea When the newly-married pair came home. He was not improved in habits. what he did mean? ‘Upon my life. I scarcely mean quite that. or in manner. either. 363 of 670 . but. but there was a certain rugged air of fidelity about him. ‘Mr. Darnay. when I say I wish we might be friends. Indeed. was Sydney Carton. ‘I find that easier to comprehend in my own mind. I hope. ‘I wish we might be friends. or in looks.’ ‘We are already friends. than to convey to yours.’ Charles Darnay—as was natural—asked him. in all good-humour and good-fellowship. smiling.’ said Carton. to offer his congratulations.

The curse of those occasions is heavy upon me. for I always remember them. is anything but alarming to me. and not liking you. as if he waved that away.’ ‘I forgot it long ago.’ ‘Ah!’ said Carton. Mr. You remember a certain famous occasion when I was more drunk than— than usual?’ ‘I remember a certain famous occasion when you forced me to confess that you had been drinking. I wish you would forget it. Darnay.’ ‘If it was a light answer. with a careless wave of his hand. I was insufferable about liking you. as you represent it to be to you. let me try. as you know).’ ‘I remember it too. oblivion is not so easy to me.’ returned Darnay. ‘I beg your forgiveness for it. I am not going to preach. ‘On the drunken occasion in question (one of a large number. when all days are at an end for me! Don’t be alarmed.A Tale of Two Cities However. I had no other object than to turn a slight thing. seems to trouble you 364 of 670 . which.’ ‘I am not at all alarmed.’ ‘Fashion of speech again! But. I have by no means forgotten it. and a light answer does not help me to forget it. I hope it may be taken into account one day. Earnestness in you. to my surprise.

when you speak of it in that way.—Mind! I say when I rendered it.’’ ‘But I do.’ ‘You make light of the obligation. I was speaking about our being friends. without the aid of his. ask Stryver. that it was mere professional claptrap.’ ‘I prefer to form my own opinion. and he’ll tell you so. and never will. trust me! I have gone aside from my purpose. you know me.’ ‘Genuine truth. ‘I am bound to avow to you. ‘but I will not quarrel with YOUR light answer. Mr. aside. and a 365 of 670 . that I have long dismissed it from my mind.’ ‘Well! At any rate you know me as a dissolute dog. Now.’ said Carton. Darnay. you know I am incapable of all the higher and better flights of men. and you must take my word for it. Well! If you could endure to have such a worthless fellow. who has never done any good. in the great service you rendered me that day?’ ‘As to the great service. If you doubt it. I don’t know that I cared what became of you. Good Heaven. when I rendered it. on the faith of a gentleman.A Tale of Two Cities too much.’ returned Darnay. I declare to you. I am speaking of the past.’ ‘I don’t know that you ‘never will. what was there to dismiss! Have I had nothing more important to remember.

to know that I had it. by this time.’ They shook hands upon it. Carton. When he was gone. coming and going at odd times.A Tale of Two Cities fellow of such indifferent reputation. in short. an unornamental) piece of furniture. and in the course of an evening passed with Miss Pross. I thank you. to all outward appearance. I should ask that I might be permitted to come and go as a privileged person here. the Doctor. as unsubstantial as ever.’ ‘Will you try?’ ‘That is another way of saying that I am placed on the footing I have indicated. tolerated for its old service. and Sydney turned away. and spoke of Sydney Carton as a problem of carelessness and recklessness. I doubt if I should abuse the permission. 366 of 670 . he was. and Mr. I dare say. that I might be regarded as an useless (and I would add. Lorry. and taken no notice of. Charles Darnay made some mention of this conversation in general terms. He spoke of him. It is a hundred to one if I should avail myself of it four times in a year. Darnay. if it were not for the resemblance I detected between you and me. It would satisfy me. I may use that freedom with your name?’ ‘I think so. Within a minute afterwards.

when he afterwards joined her in their own rooms. Carton deserves more consideration and respect than you expressed for him tonight. my own? Why so?’ 367 of 670 . for we have something on our mind to-night. ‘Yes.’ ‘What is it. my Lucie?’ ‘Will you promise not to press one question on me. with his hand putting aside the golden hair from the cheek. dearest Charles. but. poor Mr. and his other hand against the heart that beat for him! ‘I think. indeed.’ ‘Indeed. but as anybody might who saw him as he showed himself. Charles. drawing his arm about her. and the inquiring and attentive expression fixed upon him. He had no idea that this could dwell in the thoughts of his fair young wife. if I beg you not to ask it?’ ‘Will I promise? What will I not promise to my Love?’ What. he found her waiting for him with the old pretty lifting of the forehead strongly marked.’ with her hands on his breast.A Tale of Two Cities not bitterly or meaning to bear hard upon him. ‘We are thoughtful to-night!’ said Darnay. ‘we are rather thoughtful to-night.

it is enough. very seldom reveals.’ ‘If you know it. But I think—I know—he does. my Life?’ ‘I would ask you.’ She looked so beautiful in the purity of her faith in this lost man. I fear he is not to be reclaimed. I would ask you to believe that he has a heart he very. I have seen it bleeding. I am sure that he is capable of good things. What would you have me do. there is scarcely a hope that anything in his character or fortunes is reparable now. ‘And. even magnanimous things. gentle things. ‘remember how strong we are in our happiness. dearest. But.’ ‘My husband. laying her head upon his breast. O my dearest Love!’ she urged. it is so.’ said Charles Darnay. My dear. to be very generous with him always.A Tale of Two Cities ‘That is what you are not to ask me. and how weak he is in his misery!’ 368 of 670 . clinging nearer to him. and very lenient on his faults when he is not by. I never thought this of him.’ ‘It is a painful reflection to me. and raising her eyes to his. that her husband could have looked at her as she was for hours. quite astounded. ‘that I should have done him any wrong. and that there are deep wounds in it.

he might have cried to the night— and the words would not have parted from his lips for the first time— ‘God bless her for her sweet compassion!’ 369 of 670 . and put the rosy lips to his.A Tale of Two Cities The supplication touched him home. ‘I will always remember it. could have heard her innocent disclosure. dear Heart! I will remember it as long as I live.’ He bent over the golden head. If one forlorn wanderer then pacing the dark streets. and folded her in his arms. and could have seen the drops of pity kissed away by her husband from the soft blue eyes so loving of that husband.

swelled to her eyes. in a life of quiet bliss. there were times. listening to the echoing footsteps of years. afar off. there would arise the sound of footsteps at her own early grave. and thoughts of the husband who would be left so desolate. and her eyes would be dimmed. and her father. and broke like waves. At first. of a love as yet unknown to her: doubts. Fluttering hopes and doubts—hopes. For. Among the echoes then. and herself. Ever busily winding the golden thread which bound her husband. there was something coming in the echoes. that corner where the Doctor lived. and her old directress and companion. when her work would slowly fall from her hands. Lucie sat in the still house in the tranquilly resounding corner. and who would mourn for her so much. 370 of 670 . and scarcely audible yet.A Tale of Two Cities XXI Echoing Footsteps A wonderful corner for echoes. of her remaining upon earth. to enjoy that new delight—divided her breast. though she was a perfectly happy young wife. something light. that stirred her heart too much. it has been remarked.

and the shady house was sunny with a child’s laugh. in harness of string. seemed to take her child in his arms. they were not harsh nor cruel.A Tale of Two Cities That time passed. Lucie heard in the echoes of years none but friendly and soothing sounds. ‘Dear papa and mamma. Let greater echoes resound as they would. the young mother at the cradle side could always hear those coming. I am very sorry to leave you 371 of 670 . and the Divine friend of children. and made it a sacred joy to her. with a radiant smile. there was the tread of her tiny feet and the sound of her prattling words. as He took the child of old. her father’s firm and equal. awakening the echoes. Even when golden hair. among the advancing echoes. to whom in her trouble she had confided hers. Ever busily winding the golden thread that bound them all together. whip-corrected. Then. Her husband’s step was strong and prosperous among them. weaving the service of her happy influence through the tissue of all their lives. They came. and he said. Lo. lay in a halo on a pillow round the worn face of a little boy. like her own. as an unruly charger. and her little Lucie lay on her bosom. Miss Pross. snorting and pawing the earth under the plane-tree in the garden! Even when there were sounds of sorrow among the rest. and making it predominate nowhere.

chattered in the tongues of the Two Cities that were blended in her life. the rustling of an Angel’s wings got blended with the other echoes. and I must go!’ those were not tears all of agony that wetted his young mother’s cheek. Suffer them and forbid them not. He never came there heated with wine. in a hushed murmur—like the breathing of a summer sea asleep upon a sandy shore —as the little Lucie. as the spirit departed from her embrace that had been entrusted to it. comically studious at the task of the morning. but I am called. and they were not wholly of earth. and to leave my pretty sister. he claimed his privilege of coming in uninvited. or dressing a doll at her mother’s footstool. and both were audible to Lucie. O Father. but had in them that breath of Heaven. And one other thing regarding him was whispered in the echoes.A Tale of Two Cities both. 372 of 670 . as he had once done often. and would sit among them through the evening. which has been whispered by all true echoes for ages and ages. The Echoes rarely answered to the actual tread of Sydney Carton. Sighs of the winds that blew over a little garden-tomb were mingled with them also. They see my Father’s face. Some half-dozen times a year. blessed words! Thus. at most.

and dragged his useful friend in his wake. and he no more thought of emerging from his state of lion’s jackal. made it the life he was to lead. Carton was the first stranger to whom little Lucie held out her chubby arms. ‘Poor Carton! Kiss him for me!’ Mr. when she was a wife and a mother. Stryver was rich. but it is so. As the boat so favoured is usually in a rough plight. The little boy had spoken of him. Sydney had a swamped life of it. What fine hidden sensibilities are touched in such a case.A Tale of Two Cities No man ever really loved a woman. lost her. than any real jackal may be supposed to think of rising to be a lion. But. and it was so here. had married a florid widow with property and three boys. 373 of 670 . easy and strong custom. like some great engine forcing itself through turbid water. but her children had a strange sympathy with him—an instinctive delicacy of pity for him. unhappily so much easier and stronger in him than any stimulating sense of desert or disgrace. and he kept his place with her as she grew. and mostly under water. no echoes tell. almost at the last. so. Stryver shouldered his way through the law. like a boat towed astern. who had nothing particularly shining about them but the straight hair of their dumpling heads. and knew her with a blameless though an unchanged mind.

on the arts Mrs.cheese towards your matrimonial picnic. Stryver. He was also in the habit of declaiming to Mrs. Stryver. Mr. 374 of 670 . These were among the echoes to which Lucie. Darnay had once put in practice to ‘catch’ him. madam. who were occasionally parties to the full-bodied wine and the lie. by directing them to beware of the pride of Beggars. Stryver with indignation.A Tale of Two Cities These three young gentlemen. excused him for the latter by saying that he had told it so often. and on the diamond-cut-diamond arts in himself. Darnay!’ The polite rejection of the three lumps of bread-andcheese had quite bloated Mr. exuding patronage of the most offensive quality from every pore. sometimes pensive. like that tutor-fellow. as to justify any such offender’s being carried off to some suitably retired spot. over his full-bodied wine.’ Some of his King’s Bench familiars. which had rendered him ‘not to be caught. that he believed it himself—which is surely such an incorrigible aggravation of an originally bad offence. sometimes amused and laughing. and had offered as pupils to Lucie’s husband: delicately saying ‘Halloa! here are three lumps of breadand. had walked before him like three sheep to the quiet corner in Soho. which he afterwards turned to account in the training of the young gentlemen. and there hanged out of the way.

of your being everything to all of us. until her little daughter was six years old. And it was now. from a distance. as if there were only one of us. and those of her own dear father’s. that rumbled menacingly in the corner all through this space of time. or to have too much to do?’ But. Lorry came in late. 375 of 670 . sweet in her ears. How near to her heart the echoes of her child’s tread came. from Tellson’s. Mr. On a night in mid-July. need not be told. and of the many times her husband had said to her that no cares and duties seemed to divide her love for him or her help to him. how the lightest echo of their united home. as of a great storm in France with a dreadful sea rising. and those of her dear husband’s. there were other echoes. that they began to have an awful sound. of the many times her father had told her that he found her more devoted to him married (if that could be) than single. and asked her ‘What is the magic secret. how there were echoes all about her. always active and self-possessed. one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine. my darling. directed by herself with such a wise and elegant thrift that it was more abundant than any waste. Nor. about little Lucie’s sixth birthday. was music to her. Nor.A Tale of Two Cities listened in the echoing corner. yet never seeming to be hurried.

We have been so full of business all day.A Tale of Two Cities and sat himself down by Lucie and her husband in the dark window. you say. that we have not known what to do first. ‘you know how gloomy and threatening the sky is. and they were all three reminded of the old Sunday night when they had looked at the lightning from the same place. wild night. trying to persuade himself that his sweet temper was soured. There is positively a mania among some of them for sending it to England.’ ‘I know that.’ said Mr. and we really can’t be troubled out of the ordinary course without due occasion. but we don’t know what reason there is in it.’ ‘That has a bad look. seem not to be able to confide their property to us fast enough. pushing his brown wig back. Lorry. or which way to turn.’ assented Mr. my dear Darnay? Yes.’ said Darnay— ‘A bad look.’ said Darnay.’ ‘Still. ‘that I should have to pass the night at Tellson’s. that we have actually a run of confidence upon us! Our customers over there. to be sure. There is such an uneasiness in Paris. and 376 of 670 . It was a hot. Lorry. ‘I began to think. People are so unreasonable! Some of us at Tellson’s are getting old.

Lucie? I can’t see. but I have been so put out all day. if you like.’ ‘Thank ye.A Tale of Two Cities that he grumbled. entering the dark room at the moment. Is the teaboard still there.’ 377 of 670 . if I may speak my mind. and let us sit quiet. You are not going out. The precious child is safe in bed?’ ‘And sleeping soundly. my dear. come and take your place in the circle. all safe and well! I don’t know why anything should be otherwise than safe and well here.’ ‘That’s right. for these hurries and forebodings by which I have been surrounded all day long. ‘I am quite glad you are at home. my dear! Thank ye. thank God.’ ‘Not a theory. I hope?’ ‘No. it was a fancy. ‘I don’t think I do like.’ said the Doctor. Now. Where is Manette?’ ‘Here he is. I am going to play backgammon with you. it has been kept for you.’ said the Doctor. and I am not as young as I was! My tea. have made me nervous without reason. and hear the echoes about which you have your theory.’ ‘Of course. I am not fit to be pitted against you to-night. ‘but I am determined to be peevish after my long day’s botheration.

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‘A fancy, then, my wise pet,’ said Mr. Lorry, patting her hand. ‘They are very numerous and very loud, though, are they not? Only hear them!’ Headlong, mad, and dangerous footsteps to force their way into anybody’s life, footsteps not easily made clean again if once stained red, the footsteps raging in Saint Antoine afar off, as the little circle sat in the dark London window. Saint Antoine had been, that morning, a vast dusky mass of scarecrows heaving to and fro, with frequent gleams of light above the billowy heads, where steel blades and bayonets shone in the sun. A tremendous roar arose from the throat of Saint Antoine, and a forest of naked arms struggled in the air like shrivelled branches of trees in a winter wind: all the fingers convulsively clutching at every weapon or semblance of a weapon that was thrown up from the depths below, no matter how far off. Who gave them out, whence they last came, where they began, through what agency they crookedly quivered and jerked, scores at a time, over the heads of the crowd, like a kind of lightning, no eye in the throng could have told; but, muskets were being distributed—so were cartridges, powder, and ball, bars of iron and wood, knives, axes, pikes, every weapon that distracted ingenuity 378 of 670

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could discover or devise. People who could lay hold of nothing else, set themselves with bleeding hands to force stones and bricks out of their places in walls. Every pulse and heart in Saint Antoine was on high-fever strain and at high-fever heat. Every living creature there held life as of no account, and was demented with a passionate readiness to sacrifice it. As a whirlpool of boiling waters has a centre point, so, all this raging circled round Defarge’s wine-shop, and every human drop in the caldron had a tendency to be sucked towards the vortex where Defarge himself, already begrimed with gunpowder and sweat, issued orders, issued arms, thrust this man back, dragged this man forward, disarmed one to arm another, laboured and strove in the thickest of the uproar. ‘Keep near to me, Jacques Three,’ cried Defarge; ‘and do you, Jacques One and Two, separate and put yourselves at the head of as many of these patriots as you can. Where is my wife?’ ‘Eh, well! Here you see me!’ said madame, composed as ever, but not knitting to-day. Madame’s resolute right hand was occupied with an axe, in place of the usual softer implements, and in her girdle were a pistol and a cruel knife. 379 of 670

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‘Where do you go, my wife?’ ‘I go,’ said madame, ‘with you at present. You shall see me at the head of women, by-and-bye.’ ‘Come, then!’ cried Defarge, in a resounding voice. ‘Patriots and friends, we are ready! The Bastille!’ With a roar that sounded as if all the breath in France had been shaped into the detested word, the living sea rose, wave on wave, depth on depth, and overflowed the city to that point. Alarm-bells ringing, drums beating, the sea raging and thundering on its new beach, the attack began. Deep ditches, double drawbridge, massive stone walls, eight great towers, cannon, muskets, fire and smoke. Through the fire and through the smoke—in the fire and in the smoke, for the sea cast him up against a cannon, and on the instant he became a cannonier—Defarge of the wine-shop worked like a manful soldier, Two fierce hours. Deep ditch, single drawbridge, massive stone walls, eight great towers, cannon, muskets, fire and smoke. One drawbridge down! ‘Work, comrades all, work! Work, Jacques One, Jacques Two, Jacques One Thousand, Jacques Two Thousand, Jacques Five-and-Twenty Thousand; in the name of all the Angels or the Devils— 380 of 670

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which you prefer—work!’ Thus Defarge of the wineshop, still at his gun, which had long grown hot. ‘To me, women!’ cried madame his wife. ‘What! We can kill as well as the men when the place is taken!’ And to her, with a shrill thirsty cry, trooping women variously armed, but all armed alike in hunger and revenge. Cannon, muskets, fire and smoke; but, still the deep ditch, the single drawbridge, the massive stone walls, and the eight great towers. Slight displacements of the raging sea, made by the falling wounded. Flashing weapons, blazing torches, smoking waggonloads of wet straw, hard work at neighbouring barricades in all directions, shrieks, volleys, execrations, bravery without stint, boom smash and rattle, and the furious sounding of the living sea; but, still the deep ditch, and the single drawbridge, and the massive stone walls, and the eight great towers, and still Defarge of the wine-shop at his gun, grown doubly hot by the service of Four fierce hours. A white flag from within the fortress, and a parley—this dimly perceptible through the raging storm, nothing audible in it—suddenly the sea rose immeasurably wider and higher, and swept Defarge of the wine-shop over the lowered drawbridge, past the massive stone outer walls, in among the eight great towers surrendered! 381 of 670

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So resistless was the force of the ocean bearing him on, that even to draw his breath or turn his head was as impracticable as if he had been struggling in the surf at the South Sea, until he was landed in the outer courtyard of the Bastille. There, against an angle of a wall, he made a struggle to look about him. Jacques Three was nearly at his side; Madame Defarge, still heading some of her women, was visible in the inner distance, and her knife was in her hand. Everywhere was tumult, exultation, deafening and maniacal bewilderment, astounding noise, yet furious dumb-show. ‘The Prisoners!’ ‘The Records!’ ‘The secret cells!’ ‘The instruments of torture!’ ‘The Prisoners!’ Of all these cries, and ten thousand incoherences, ‘The Prisoners!’ was the cry most taken up by the sea that rushed in, as if there were an eternity of people, as well as of time and space. When the foremost billows rolled past, bearing the prison officers with them, and threatening them all with instant death if any secret nook remained undisclosed, Defarge laid his strong hand on the breast of one of these men—a man with a grey head, who had a 382 of 670

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lighted torch in his hand— separated him from the rest, and got him between himself and the wall. ‘Show me the North Tower!’ said Defarge. ‘Quick!’ ‘I will faithfully,’ replied the man, ‘if you will come with me. But there is no one there.’ ‘What is the meaning of One Hundred and Five, North Tower?’ asked Defarge. ‘Quick!’ ‘The meaning, monsieur?’ ‘Does it mean a captive, or a place of captivity? Or do you mean that I shall strike you dead?’ ‘Kill him!’ croaked Jacques Three, who had come close up. ‘Monsieur, it is a cell.’ ‘Show it me!’ ‘Pass this way, then.’ Jacques Three, with his usual craving on him, and evidently disappointed by the dialogue taking a turn that did not seem to promise bloodshed, held by Defarge’s arm as he held by the turnkey’s. Their three heads had been close together during this brief discourse, and it had been as much as they could do to hear one another, even then: so tremendous was the noise of the living ocean, in its irruption into the Fortress, and its inundation of the courts and passages and staircases. All around outside, too, it beat 383 of 670

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the walls with a deep, hoarse roar, from which, occasionally, some partial shouts of tumult broke and leaped into the air like spray. Through gloomy vaults where the light of day had never shone, past hideous doors of dark dens and cages, down cavernous flights of steps, and again up steep rugged ascents of stone and brick, more like dry waterfalls than staircases, Defarge, the turnkey, and Jacques Three, linked hand and arm, went with all the speed they could make. Here and there, especially at first, the inundation started on them and swept by; but when they had done descending, and were winding and climbing up a tower, they were alone. Hemmed in here by the massive thickness of walls and arches, the storm within the fortress and without was only audible to them in a dull, subdued way, as if the noise out of which they had come had almost destroyed their sense of hearing. The turnkey stopped at a low door, put a key in a clashing lock, swung the door slowly open, and said, as they all bent their heads and passed in: ‘One hundred and five, North Tower!’ There was a small, heavily-grated, unglazed window high in the wall, with a stone screen before it, so that the sky could be only seen by stooping low and looking up. 384 of 670

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There was a small chimney, heavily barred across, a few feet within. There was a heap of old feathery wood-ashes on the hearth. There was a stool, and table, and a straw bed. There were the four blackened walls, and a rusted iron ring in one of them. ‘Pass that torch slowly along these walls, that I may see them,’ said Defarge to the turnkey. The man obeyed, and Defarge followed the light closely with his eyes. ‘Stop!—Look here, Jacques!’ ‘A. M.!’ croaked Jacques Three, as he read greedily. ‘Alexandre Manette,’ said Defarge in his ear, following the letters with his swart forefinger, deeply engrained with gunpowder. ‘And here he wrote ‘a poor physician.’ And it was he, without doubt, who scratched a calendar on this stone. What is that in your hand? A crowbar? Give it me!’ He had still the linstock of his gun in his own hand. He made a sudden exchange of the two instruments, and turning on the worm-eaten stool and table, beat them to pieces in a few blows. ‘Hold the light higher!’ he said, wrathfully, to the turnkey. ‘Look among those fragments with care, Jacques. And see! Here is my knife,’ throwing it to him; ‘rip open that bed, and search the straw. Hold the light higher, you!’ 385 of 670

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With a menacing look at the turnkey he crawled upon the hearth, and, peering up the chimney, struck and prised at its sides with the crowbar, and worked at the iron grating across it. In a few minutes, some mortar and dust came dropping down, which he averted his face to avoid; and in it, and in the old wood-ashes, and in a crevice in the chimney into which his weapon had slipped or wrought itself, he groped with a cautious touch. ‘Nothing in the wood, and nothing in the straw, Jacques?’ ‘Nothing.’ ‘Let us collect them together, in the middle of the cell. So! Light them, you!’ The turnkey fired the little pile, which blazed high and hot. Stooping again to come out at the low-arched door, they left it burning, and retraced their way to the courtyard; seeming to recover their sense of hearing as they came down, until they were in the raging flood once more. They found it surging and tossing, in quest of Defarge himself. Saint Antoine was clamorous to have its wineshop keeper foremost in the guard upon the governor who had defended the Bastille and shot the people. Otherwise, the governor would not be marched to the 386 of 670

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Hotel de Ville for judgment. Otherwise, the governor would escape, and the people’s blood (suddenly of some value, after many years of worthlessness) be unavenged. In the howling universe of passion and contention that seemed to encompass this grim old officer conspicuous in his grey coat and red decoration, there was but one quite steady figure, and that was a woman’s. ‘See, there is my husband!’ she cried, pointing him out. ‘See Defarge!’ She stood immovable close to the grim old officer, and remained immovable close to him; remained immovable close to him through the streets, as Defarge and the rest bore him along; remained immovable close to him when he was got near his destination, and began to be struck at from behind; remained immovable close to him when the long-gathering rain of stabs and blows fell heavy; was so close to him when he dropped dead under it, that, suddenly animated, she put her foot upon his neck, and with her cruel knife—long ready—hewed off his head. The hour was come, when Saint Antoine was to execute his horrible idea of hoisting up men for lamps to show what he could be and do. Saint Antoine’s blood was up, and the blood of tyranny and domination by the iron hand was down—down on the steps of the Hotel de Ville where the governor’s body lay—down on the sole of the 387 of 670

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shoe of Madame Defarge where she had trodden on the body to steady it for mutilation. ‘Lower the lamp yonder!’ cried Saint Antoine, after glaring round for a new means of death; ‘here is one of his soldiers to be left on guard!’ The swinging sentinel was posted, and the sea rushed on. The sea of black and threatening waters, and of destructive upheaving of wave against wave, whose depths were yet unfathomed and whose forces were yet unknown. The remorseless sea of turbulently swaying shapes, voices of vengeance, and faces hardened in the furnaces of suffering until the touch of pity could make no mark on them. But, in the ocean of faces where every fierce and furious expression was in vivid life, there were two groups of faces—each seven in number —so fixedly contrasting with the rest, that never did sea roll which bore more memorable wrecks with it. Seven faces of prisoners, suddenly released by the storm that had burst their tomb, were carried high overhead: all scared, all lost, all wondering and amazed, as if the Last Day were come, and those who rejoiced around them were lost spirits. Other seven faces there were, carried higher, seven dead faces, whose drooping eyelids and half-seen eyes awaited the Last Day. Impassive faces, yet with a suspended—not an 388 of 670

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abolished—expression on them; faces, rather, in a fearful pause, as having yet to raise the dropped lids of the eyes, and bear witness with the bloodless lips, ‘THOU DIDST IT!’ Seven prisoners released, seven gory heads on pikes, the keys of the accursed fortress of the eight strong towers, some discovered letters and other memorials of prisoners of old time, long dead of broken hearts,—such, and such—like, the loudly echoing footsteps of Saint Antoine escort through the Paris streets in mid-July, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine. Now, Heaven defeat the fancy of Lucie Darnay, and keep these feet far out of her life! For, they are headlong, mad, and dangerous; and in the years so long after the breaking of the cask at Defarge’s wine-shop door, they are not easily purified when once stained red.

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XXII The Sea Still Rises
Haggard Saint Antoine had had only one exultant week, in which to soften his modicum of hard and bitter bread to such extent as he could, with the relish of fraternal embraces and congratulations, when Madame Defarge sat at her counter, as usual, presiding over the customers. Madame Defarge wore no rose in her head, for the great brotherhood of Spies had become, even in one short week, extremely chary of trusting themselves to the saint’s mercies. The lamps across his streets had a portentously elastic swing with them. Madame Defarge, with her arms folded, sat in the morning light and heat, contemplating the wine-shop and the street. In both, there were several knots of loungers, squalid and miserable, but now with a manifest sense of power enthroned on their distress. The raggedest nightcap, awry on the wretchedest head, had this crooked significance in it: ‘I know how hard it has grown for me, the wearer of this, to support life in myself; but do you know how easy it has grown for me, the wearer of this, to destroy life in you?’ Every lean bare arm, that had been 390 of 670

‘Listen to him!’ Defarge stood. pulled off a red cap he wore.A Tale of Two Cities without work before. and the last finishing blows had told mightily on the expression. against a background of eager eyes and open mouths. ‘Hark!’ said The Vengeance. ‘Silence. everywhere!’ said madame again. with the experience that they could tear. then! Who comes?’ As if a train of powder laid from the outermost bound of Saint Antoine Quarter to the wine-shop door. this lieutenant had already earned the complimentary name of The Vengeance. There was a change in the appearance of Saint Antoine. that it could strike. and looked around him! ‘Listen.’ said madame. The short. had been suddenly fired. One of her sisterhood knitted beside her. The fingers of the knitting women were vicious. ‘It is Defarge. and the mother of two children withal. 391 of 670 . the image had been hammering into this for hundreds of years. panting. patriots!’ Defarge came in breathless. a fast-spreading murmur came rushing along. had this work always ready for it now. with such suppressed approval as was to be desired in the leader of the Saint Antoine women. Madame Defarge sat observing it. rather plump wife of a starved grocer. ‘Listen.

‘Say then. I have seen him but now. What is it?’ ‘News from the other world!’ ‘How. ‘The news is of him. then?’ cried madame. a prisoner. But they have found him alive. 392 of 670 . who told the famished people that they might eat grass. Say all! HAD he reason?’ Wretched old sinner of more than threescore years and ten. ‘The other world?’ ‘Does everybody here recall old Foulon. my husband. contemptuously. he would have known it in his heart of hearts if he could have heard the answering cry. and had a grand mock-funeral. all those within the wine-shop had sprung to their feet. ‘And dead?’ ‘Not dead! He feared us so much—and with reason— that he caused himself to be represented as dead. hiding in the country. and who died. He is among us!’ ‘Among us!’ from the universal throat again. I have said that he had reason to fear us. and went to Hell?’ ‘Everybody!’ from all throats. and have brought him in. if he had never known it yet. on his way to the Hotel de Ville.A Tale of Two Cities formed outside the door.

my mother! Miscreant Foulon taken. and flinging her arms about her head like all the forty Furies at once. the women were a sight to chill the boldest. my daughter! Then. and The Vengeance. Villain Foulon taken. The Vengeance stooped. ‘Patriots!’ said Defarge. they ran out with streaming hair. From such household occupations as their bare poverty yielded. in a determined voice. uttering terrific shrieks. the drum was beating in the streets. and the jar of a drum was heard as she moved it at her feet behind the counter. and came pouring down into the streets. from their children. as if it and a drummer had flown together by magic. and themselves. rousing the women. to madness with the wildest cries and actions. beating their 393 of 670 . Defarge and his wife looked steadfastly at one another. in the bloody-minded anger with which they looked from windows. my sister! Old Foulon taken. was tearing from house to house. ‘are we ready?’ Instantly Madame Defarge’s knife was in her girdle.A Tale of Two Cities A moment of profound silence followed. from their aged and their sick crouching on the bare ground famished and naked. but. urging one another. a score of others ran into the midst of these. The men were terrible. caught up what arms they had.

Give us the blood of Foulon. tearing their hair. to avenge you on Foulon! Husbands. Give us the head of Foulon. Foulon alive! Foulon who told the starving people they might eat grass! Foulon who told my old father that he might eat grass. when I had no bread to give him! Foulon who told my baby it might suck grass. my dead baby and my withered father: I swear on my knees. striking and tearing at their own friends until they dropped into a passionate swoon. Never. on these stones. and were only saved by the men belonging to them from being trampled under foot. Rend Foulon to pieces. and brothers.A Tale of Two Cities breasts. numbers of the women. and young men. lashed into blind frenzy. that within a quarter of 394 of 670 . when these breasts where dry with want! O mother of God. Give us the body and soul of Foulon. and drew even these last dregs after them with such a force of suction. Give us the heart of Foulon. not a moment! This Foulon was at the Hotel de Ville. if Saint Antoine knew his own sufferings. and dig him into the ground. and might be loosed. and wrongs! Armed men and women flocked out of the Quarter so fast. that grass may grow from him! With these cries. not a moment was lost. insults. whirled about. this Foulon! O Heaven our suffering! Hear me. and screaming. Nevertheless.

were in the first press. knew Madame 395 of 670 . Similarly. during two or three hours of drawl. ha! That was well done. The Vengeance. and those to others. and those again explaining to others. ugly and wicked. That was well done to tie a bunch of grass upon his back. with marvellous quickness. No. Madame Defarge’s frequent expressions of impatience were taken up. The people immediately behind Madame Defarge. and overflowing into the adjacent open space and streets. the neighbouring streets resounded with the clapping of hands. They were all by that time choking the Hall of Examination where this old man. and Jacques Three. because certain men who had by some wonderful exercise of agility climbed up the external architecture to look in from the windows. and clapped her hands as at a play. ‘See the old villain bound with ropes. and at no great distance from him in the Hall. and the winnowing of many bushels of words.A Tale of Two Cities an hour there was not a human creature in Saint Antoine’s bosom but a few old crones and the wailing children. at a distance: the more readily. explaining the cause of her satisfaction to those behind them. pointing with her knife. was. husband and wife. Let him eat it now!’ Madame put her knife under her arm. The Defarges. ‘See!’ cried madame. Ha.

‘Bring him out! Bring him to the lamp!’ Down. bleeding. At length the sun rose so high that it struck a kindly ray as of hope or protection. and Saint Antoine had got him! It was known directly. on his knees. and struck at.A Tale of Two Cities Defarge well. on his feet. Defarge had but sprung over a railing and a table. panting. and up. and acted as a telegraph between her and the crowd outside the building. now. now. dragged. bruised. like birds of prey from their high perches—when the cry seemed to go up. and the men at the windows had not yet swooped into the Hall. torn. directly down upon the old prisoner’s head. The favour was too much to bear. now full of 396 of 670 . yet always entreating and beseeching for mercy. on his back. to the furthest confines of the crowd. all over the city. went to the winds. in an instant the barrier of dust and chaff that had stood surprisingly long. and stifled by the bunches of grass and straw that were thrust into his face by hundreds of hands. and folded the miserable wretch in a deadly embrace— Madame Defarge had but followed and turned her hand in one of the ropes with which he was tied—The Vengeance and Jacques Three were not yet up with them. and head foremost on the steps of the building. now.

and held him. that it boiled again. he went aloft. in cavalry alone. he was hauled to the nearest street corner where one of the fatal lamps swung. and while he besought her: the women passionately screeching at him all the time. and the men sternly calling out to have him killed with grass in his mouth. and they caught him shrieking. now. then. was coming into Paris under a guard five hundred strong. with a small clear space about him as the people drew one another back that they might see. with grass enough in the mouth for all Saint Antoine to dance at the sight of. and the rope broke.A Tale of Two Cities vehement agony of action. the rope was merciful. Saint Antoine wrote his crimes on flaring sheets of paper. a log of dead wood drawn through a forest of legs. and the rope broke. twice. he went aloft. and there Madame Defarge let him go—as a cat might have done to a mouse—and silently and composedly looked at him while they made ready. seized him—would have torn him out of the breast of an army to bear Foulon 397 of 670 . another of the people’s enemies and insulters. Nor was this the end of the day’s bad work. and they caught him shrieking. and his head was soon upon a pike. for Saint Antoine so shouted and danced his angry blood up. Once. on hearing when the day closed in that the son-in-law of the despatched.

Scanty and insufficient suppers those. in Wolf-procession through the streets. with such a world around them and before them. and slender fires were made in the streets. when Defarge’s wine-shop parted with its last knot of customers. and Monsieur 398 of 670 . It was almost morning. wailing and breadless. they beguiled the time by embracing one another on the triumphs of the day. and achieving them again in gossip. and lovers. as of most other sauce to wretched bread. Not before dark night did the men and women come back to the children. and carried the three spoils of the day. loved and hoped. and then poor lights began to shine in high windows. and while they waited with stomachs faint and empty. the miserable bakers’ shops were beset by long files of them. afterwards supping at their doors. and innocent of meat.A Tale of Two Cities company—set his head and heart on pikes. patiently waiting to buy bad bread. and struck some sparks of cheerfulness out of them. human fellowship infused some nourishment into the flinty viands. Then. Gradually. at which neighbours cooked in common. played gently with their meagre children. these strings of ragged people shortened and frayed away. Fathers and mothers who had had their full share in the worst of the day. Yet.

my dear!’ ‘Eh well!’ returned madame. and the drum was at rest. could have wakened him up and had the same speech out of him as before the Bastille fell. not so with the hoarse tones of the men and women in Saint Antoine’s bosom. while fastening the door: ‘At last it is come. in husky tones. 399 of 670 . the Defarges slept: even The Vengeance slept with her starved grocer. ‘Almost.A Tale of Two Cities Defarge said to madame his wife. The drum’s was the only voice in Saint Antoine that blood and hurry had not changed. or old Foulon was seized. as custodian of the drum. The Vengeance.’ Saint Antoine slept.

there were soldiers to guard it. oppressed. fences. and where the mender of roads went forth daily to hammer out of the stones on the highway such morsels of bread as might serve for patches to hold his poor ignorant soul and his poor reduced body together. was as shrivelled and poor as the miserable people. women. there were officers to guard the soldiers.A Tale of Two Cities XXIII Fire Rises There was a change on the village where the fountain fell. Far and wide lay a ruined country. The prison on the crag was not so dominant as of yore. Every green leaf. dejected. and broken. every blade of grass and blade of grain. children. was a polite example of luxurious and shining 400 of 670 . and the soil that bore them—all worn out. domesticated animals. Everything was bowed down. Monseigneur (often a most worthy individual gentleman) was a national blessing. but not many. but not one of them knew what his men would do—beyond this: that it would probably not be what he was ordered. Habitations. gave a chivalrous tone to things. men. yielding nothing but desolation.

however. in these times. surely! Thus it was. and a great deal more to equal purpose. and it now turned and turned with nothing to bite. this was not the change on the village. and otherwise beautified and beautifying features of Monseigneur. No. Strange that Creation. rather than in the disappearance of the high caste. designed expressly for Monseigneur. For. But. and the last screw of the rack having been turned so often that its purchase crumbled. For scores of years gone by. found in hunting the people. The change consisted in the appearance of strange faces of low caste. and on many a village like it.A Tale of Two Cities fife. and had seldom graced it with his presence except for the pleasures of the chase—now. brought things to this. somehow or other. now. in the dust. Monseigneur as a class had. chiselled. Monseigneur began to run away from a phenomenon so low and unaccountable. not often troubling himself to reflect 401 of 670 . found in hunting the beasts. Monseigneur had squeezed it and wrung it. and the last drop of blood having been extracted from the flints. as the mender of roads worked. for whose preservation Monseigneur made edifying spaces of barbarous and barren wilderness. should be so soon wrung dry and squeezed out! There must be something short-sighted in the eternal arrangements. solitary. nevertheless.

in wooden shoes that were clumsy even to the eyes of a mender of roads. grim. he would see some rough figure approaching on foot. rough. and at the prison on the crag. as he raised his eyes from his lonely labour. at the mill. dank with the marshy moisture of many low grounds. When he had identified these objects in what benighted mind he had. at noon in the July weather. in a dialect that was just intelligible: ‘How goes it. Such a man came upon him. as he sat on his heap of stones under a bank. the mender of roads would discern without surprise. Jacques?’ 402 of 670 . swart. tall. like a ghost. that it was a shaggy-haired man. and viewed the prospect. being for the most part too much occupied in thinking how little he had for supper and how much more he would eat if he had it—in these times. sprinkled with the thorns and leaves and moss of many byways through woods. of almost barbarian aspect. but was now a frequent presence. steeped in the mud and dust of many highways. the like of which was once a rarity in those parts. he said. The man looked at him. looked at the village in the hollow. As it advanced. taking such shelter as he could get from a shower of hail.A Tale of Two Cities that dust he was and to dust he must return.

A Tale of Two Cities ‘All well. with the hail driving in 403 of 670 .’ said the mender of roads.’ ‘Touch then!’ They joined hands. and the man sat down on the heap of stones.’ growled the man.’ said the man. ‘To-night. with a hungry face.’ It was the turn of the mender of roads to say it this time. ‘I meet no dinner anywhere. that blazed and went out in a puff of smoke. Jacques.’ He took out a blackened pipe. filled it. ‘It is the fashion. after observing these operations. putting the pipe in his mouth. ‘Touch then. suddenly held it from him and dropped something into it from between his finger and thumb. ‘Where?’ ‘Here. pulled at it until it was in a bright glow: then. ‘No dinner?’ ‘Nothing but supper now. ‘To-night?’ said the mender of roads.’ He and the mender of roads sat on the heap of stones looking silently at one another. They again joined hands. lighted it with flint and steel.

‘See!’ returned the mender of roads. revealed bright bars and streaks of sky which were responded to by silver gleams upon the 404 of 670 .’ ‘Good. rolling away. put it in his breast. Let me finish my pipe. and past the fountain—‘ ‘To the Devil with all that!’ interrupted the other.A Tale of Two Cities between them like a pigmy charge of bayonets. ‘Show me!’ said the traveller then.’ ‘Will you wake me. slipped off his great wooden shoes. Will you wake me?’ ‘Surely. and straight through the street. When do you cease to work?’ ‘At sunset. ‘You go down here. Well?’ ‘Well! About two leagues beyond the summit of that hill above the village. He was fast asleep directly. with extended finger. until the sky began to clear over the village. and the hail-clouds. moving to the brow of the hill. rolling his eye over the landscape. ‘I go through no streets and past no fountains. and I shall sleep like a child.’ The wayfarer smoked his pipe out. and lay down on his back on the heap of stones. before departing? I have walked two nights without resting. As the road-mender plied his dusty labour.

seemed to the mender of roads. tending to centres all over France. and the sullen and desperate compression of the lips in sleep. trenches. guard-houses. The bronze face. and set as resolutely as his lips. Fortified towns with their stockades. and drawbridges. to very poor account. that he used his tools mechanically. the shaggy black hair and beard. to be so much air as against this figure.A Tale of Two Cities landscape. gates. and his feet were footsore. but. and his clothes were chafed into holes. for he slept with his arms crossed upon him. one would have said. the little man (who wore a red cap now. in vain. The traveller had travelled far. And when he lifted his eyes from it to the horizon and looked around. the rough medley dress of home-spun stuff and hairy skins of beasts. Stooping down beside him. stopped by no obstacle. his great shoes. in place of his blue one) seemed fascinated by the figure on the heap of stones. 405 of 670 . he saw in his small fancy similar figures. His eyes were so often turned towards it. the powerful frame attenuated by spare living. and his ankles chafed and bleeding. stuffed with leaves and grass. and. the coarse woollen red cap. had been heavy to drag over the many long leagues. as he himself was into sores. inspired the mender of roads with awe. the road-mender tried to get a peep at secret weapons in his breast or where not.

until the sun was low in the west. Monsieur Gabelle. indifferent to showers of hail and intervals of brightness. and appearing even to whisper to them in his whispering to all the village. ‘Two leagues beyond the summit of the hill?’ ‘About.A Tale of Two Cities The man slept on. and remained there. Then. when it gathered together at the fountain in the dark. it did not creep to bed. another curious contagion of looking expectantly at the sky in one direction only.’ ‘About. rising on his elbow. roused him. and was soon at the fountain. A curious contagion of whispering was upon it. the mender of roads having got his tools together and all things ready to go down into the village. and looked in that 406 of 670 . to the paltering lumps of dull ice on his body and the diamonds into which the sun changed them. chief functionary of the place. as it usually did. Good!’ The mender of roads went home. ‘Good!’ said the sleeper. went out on his house-top alone. When the village had taken its poor supper. became uneasy. but came out of doors again. and also. to sunshine on his face and shadow. with the dust going on before him according to the set of the wind. and the sky was glowing. squeezing himself in among the lean kine brought there to drink.

the chateau began to make itself strangely visible by some light of its own. glanced down from behind his chimneys at the darkening faces by the fountain below. as though it were growing luminous. and beat at the great door. uneasy rushes of wind went through the hall. that there might be need to ring the tocsin by-and-bye. and passed lamenting up the stairs. North. striding on cautiously to come together in the courtyard. Presently. and all was black again. as though they threatened the pile of building massive and dark in the gloom. and showing where balustrades. and South. Four lights broke out there.A Tale of Two Cities direction too. arches. and sent word to the sacristan who kept the keys of the church. unkempt figures crushed the high grass and cracked the branches. among the old spears and knives. not for long. through the woods. moved in a rising wind. like a swift messenger rousing those within. keeping its solitary state apart. picking out transparent places. and shook the curtains of the bed where the last Marquis had slept. four heavytreading. and moved away in different directions. 407 of 670 . The night deepened. East. Then. a flickering streak played behind the architecture of the front. Up the two terrace flights of steps the rain ran wildly. West. But. The trees environing the old chateau.

A faint murmur arose about the house from the few people who were left there. and the horse in a foam stood at Monsieur Gabelle’s door. and grew broader and brighter. to the prison on the crag. Then it soared higher. but other help (if that were any) there was none. help!’ The officers looked towards the soldiers who looked at the fire. stood with folded arms at the fountain. ‘It must be forty feet high. ‘Help. flames burst forth. and the stone faces awakened. The rider from the chateau. The mender of roads. There was spurring and splashing through the darkness. and never moved. removed from them. gentlemen— officers! The chateau is on fire.’ said they. and the horse in a foam. stared out of fire. a group of officers were looking at the fire. every one!’ The tocsin rang impatiently.A Tale of Two Cities and windows were. ‘Help. and there was a saddling of a horse and riding away. At the gate. Gabelle! Help. looking at the pillar of fire in the sky. Soon. from a score of the great windows. grimly. clattered away through the village. and galloped up the stony steep. and two hundred and fifty particular friends. valuable objects may be saved from the flames by timely aid! Help. gave no 408 of 670 . a group of soldiers. and bridle was drawn in the space by the village fountain.

and in a moment of reluctance and hesitation on that functionary’s part. driving straight from the infernal regions. occasioned candles to be borrowed in a rather peremptory manner of Monsieur Gabelle. the village was illuminating. ‘It must burn. The general scarcity of everything. and the two hundred and fifty particular friends. had darted into their houses. In the roaring and raging of the conflagration. the mender of roads. and that post-horses would roast. The chateau was left to itself to flame and burn. and were putting candles in every dull little pane of glass. the face with the two dints in the nose became obscured: anon struggled out of the smoke again.’ As the rider rattled down the hill again and through the street. seemed to be blowing the edifice away. the stone faces showed as if they were in torment. With the rising and falling of the blaze. inspired as one man and woman by the idea of lighting up. a red-hot wind. burning at the stake and contending with the fire. The mender of roads. with shrugs and biting of lips. and answered. 409 of 670 . had remarked that carriages were good to make bonfires with.A Tale of Two Cities orders. once so submissive to authority. When great masses of stone and timber fell. as if it were the face of the cruel Marquis.

four fierce figures trudged away. Monsieur Gabelle did heavily bar his door. and trickled down into four rugged wells of flame. surrounding his house. and.enshrouded roads. and bell-ringing. West. and South. laid hold of by the fire. and bethinking itself that Monsieur Gabelle had to do with the collection of rent and taxes—though it was but a small instalment of taxes. light-headed with famine. towards their next destination. and no rent at all. Whereupon. and retire to hold counsel with 410 of 670 . North. Great rents and splits branched out in the solid walls. Molten lead and iron boiled in the marble basin of the fountain. the water ran dry. that Gabelle had got in those latter days—became impatient for an interview with him. abolishing the lawful ringer. begirt the blazing edifice with a new forest of smoke. guided by the beacon they had lighted. The illuminated village had seized hold of the tocsin. East. along the night. scorched and shrivelled. rang for joy. trees at a distance. Not only that. summoned him to come forth for personal conference. like crystallisation. and. but the village. stupefied birds wheeled about and dropped into the furnace.A Tale of Two Cities The chateau burned. fired by the four fierce figures. the extinguisher tops of the towers vanished like ice before the heat. the nearest trees. fire.

and in the light of other fires. the friendly dawn appearing at last. Within a hundred miles. this time resolved. for music. whom the rising sun found hanging across once-peaceful streets. Probably. there were other functionaries less fortunate. which the village showed a lively inclination to displace in his favour. where they had been born and bred. ready to take that plunge into it upon which Monsieur Gabelle had resolved! But. to pitch himself head foremost over the parapet. not to mention his having an ill-omened lamp slung across the road before his posting-house gate. The result of that conference was. with the distant chateau for fire and candle. and the beating at his door. and Monsieur Gabelle came down bringing his life with him for that while. combined with the joy-ringing. also. and the rushcandles of the village guttering out.A Tale of Two Cities himself. that Gabelle again withdrew himself to his housetop behind his stack of chimneys. A trying suspense. Monsieur Gabelle passed a long night up there. if his door were broken in (he was a small Southern man of retaliative temperament). the people happily dispersed. to be passing a whole summer night on the brink of the black ocean. and crush a man or two below. there were other villagers and townspeople 411 of 670 . that night and other nights.

and South. upon whom the functionaries and soldiery turned with success. be that as it would. But. and whom they strung up in their turn. The altitude of the gallows that would turn to water and quench it. was able to calculate successfully.A Tale of Two Cities less fortunate than the mender of roads and his fellows. no functionary. North. by any stretch of mathematics. and whosoever hung. the fierce figures were steadily wending East. 412 of 670 . West. fire burned.

and this life together. and was so terrified at the sight of him that he could 413 of 670 . Like the fabled rustic who raised the Devil with infinite pains. with hearts that failed them when they heard the thronging feet. to the terror and wonder of the beholders on the shore—three years of tempest were consumed. had dissociated himself from the phenomenon of his not being appreciated: of his being so little wanted in France.A Tale of Two Cities XXIV Drawn to the Loadstone Rock In such risings of fire and risings of sea—the firm earth shaken by the rushes of an angry ocean which had now no ebb. as to incur considerable danger of receiving his dismissal from it. Many a night and many a day had its inmates listened to the echoes in the corner. by terrible enchantment long persisted in. but was always on the flow. Three more birthdays of little Lucie had been woven by the golden thread into the peaceful tissue of the life of her home. tumultuous under a red flag and with their country declared in danger. Monseigneur. the footsteps had become to their minds as the footsteps of a people. as a class. For. changed into wild beasts. higher and higher.

Sardana—palus’s luxury. The shining Bull’s Eye of the Court was gone. As was natural. Monseigneur. and Monseigneur was by this time scattered far and wide. after boldly reading the Lord’s Prayer backwards for a great number of years. but immediately fled. it was 414 of 670 . Spirits are supposed to haunt the places where their bodies most resorted. was Tellson’s Bank. and Monseigneur without a guinea haunted the spot where his guineas used to be. the head-quarters and great gatheringplace of Monseigneur.A Tale of Two Cities ask the Enemy no question. The August of the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two was come. or it would have been the mark for a hurricane of national bullets. from that exclusive inner circle to its outermost rotten ring of intrigue. so. and dissimulation. and performing many other potent spells for compelling the Evil One. had been besieged in its Palace and ‘suspended. Royalty was gone. no sooner beheld him in his terrors than he took to his noble heels. The Court. was all gone together. corruption. Moreover.’ when the last tidings came over. and a mole’s blindness—but it had dropped out and was gone. It had never been a good eye to see with—had long had the mote in it of Lucifer’s pride. in London.

had made provident remittances to Tellson’s. Mr. was now the news-Exchange. almost as a matter of course. misty afternoon. Again: Tellson’s was a munificent house. For such variety of reasons. To which it must be added that every new-comer from France reported himself and his tidings at Tellson’s. came quickest.A Tale of Two Cities the spot to which such French intelligence as was most to be relied upon. Lorry sat at his desk. Tellson’s was at that time. and anticipating plunder or confiscation. The penitential den once set apart for interviews with the House. and the inquiries made there were in consequence so numerous. were always to be heard of there by their needy brethren. and this was so well known to the public. as to French intelligence. On a steaming. 415 of 670 . It was within half an hour or so of the time of closing. a kind of High Exchange. Again: those nobles who had seen the coming storm in time. that Tellson’s sometimes wrote the latest news out in a line or so and posted it in the Bank windows. and Charles Darnay stood leaning on it. and was filled to overflowing. talking with him in a low voice. for all who ran through Temple Bar to read. and extended great liberality to old customers who had fallen from their high estate.

416 of 670 . somewhat restlessly. It is safe enough for me. Lorry. a disorganised country. with cheerful confidence. and like one thinking aloud. ‘I must still suggest to you—‘ ‘I understand. and is in Tellson’s confidence.A Tale of Two Cities ‘But. of old. who ought to be?’ ‘I wish I were going myself.’ said Charles Darnay.’ ‘My dear Charles. a city that may not be even safe for you. ‘you touch some of the reasons for my going: not for my staying away.’ said Mr. after all these years. a long journey. if it were not a disorganised city there would be no occasion to send somebody from our House here to our House there. Lorry. ‘Unsettled weather. although you are the youngest man that ever lived. who knows the city and the business. That I am too old?’ said Mr. As to the uncertain travelling. uncertain means of travelling. rather hesitating. and the winter weather.’ said Charles Darnay. nobody will care to interfere with an old fellow of hard upon fourscore when there are so many people there much better worth interfering with. if I were not prepared to submit myself to a few inconveniences for the sake of Tellson’s. the long journey. As to its being a disorganised city.

my dear Charles. ‘Yes.’ Mr.’ Mr. and might have the power to persuade to some restraint. with a smile. Lorry repeated. I am not going. and of the peril in which our books and papers over yonder are involved.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Indeed! You are a pretty fellow to object and advise!’ exclaimed Mr. I wonder you are not ashamed to mention the name of Lucie! Wishing you were going to France at this time of day!’ ‘However. Only last night. in plain reality. it is because I am a Frenchman born.’ ‘My dear Mr.’ said Charles Darnay. ‘It is more to the purpose that you say you are. ‘You wish you were going yourself? And you a Frenchman born? You are a wise counsellor.’ ‘And I am.’ he spoke here in his former thoughtful manner. Lorry. The Lord above knows what the compromising 417 of 670 . after you had left us. Lorry glanced at the distant House. Lorry. ‘you can have no conception of the difficulty with which our business is transacted. One cannot help thinking. when I was talking to Lucie—‘ ‘When you were talking to Lucie. The truth is. and lowered his voice. however) has passed through my mind often. and having abandoned something to them. that the thought (which I did not mean to utter here. ‘that one might be listened to. having had some sympathy for the miserable people.

Mr. is next to an impossibility. Lorry. sir!—And. and the burying of them. even to you). Papers and precious matters were this very day brought to us here (I speak in strict confidence. I am a boy. that getting things out of Paris at this present time. Lorry. if any one. our parcels 418 of 670 . my dear Charles. sir. by the strangest bearers you can imagine. at any time. to half a dozen old codgers here!’ ‘How I admire the gallantry of your youthful spirit. for who can say that Paris is not set afire to-day. ‘you are to remember.’ ‘Tut! Nonsense. And shall I hang back. is within the power (without loss of precious time) of scarcely any one but myself. it is not business-like to whisper it. a judicious selection from these with the least possible delay. and they might be. whose bread I have eaten these sixty years—because I am a little stiff about the joints? Why. glancing at the House again. you know. no matter what things. At another time. when Tellson’s knows this and says this—Tellson’s. or sacked to-morrow! Now. every one of whom had his head hanging on by a single hair as he passed the Barriers.’ said Mr. or otherwise getting of them out of harm’s way.A Tale of Two Cities consequences would be to numbers of people. if some of our documents were seized or destroyed.

I shall. Lorry’s usual desk. Time enough. to think about growing old. as easily as in business-like Old England. I intend to take Jerry. with Monseigneur swarming within a yard or two of it. boastful of what he would do to avenge himself on the rascal-people before long. It was too much the way of Monseigneur under his reverses as a refugee. accept Tellson’s proposal to retire and live at my ease.A Tale of Two Cities would come and go. or of having any design in his head but to fly at anybody who touches his master.’ ‘And do you take no one with you?’ ‘All sorts of people have been proposed to me.’ ‘I must say again. Nobody will suspect Jerry of being anything but an English bull-dog.’ This dialogue had taken place at Mr. nonsense. for the case has become too pressing to admit of delay.’ ‘And do you really go to-night?’ ‘I really go to-night. nonsense! When I have executed this little commission. Jerry has been my bodyguard on Sunday nights for a long time past and I am used to him. perhaps. and it was 419 of 670 . then.’ ‘I must say again that I heartily admire your gallantry and youthfulness. but now. but I will have nothing to say to any of them. everything is stopped.

and of the misused and perverted resources that should have made them prosperous. his devices for blowing the people up and exterminating them from the face of the earth. loud on the theme: broaching to Monseigneur. which had already made Charles Darnay restless. was Stryver. that had led to it—as if observers of the wretched millions in France. was hard to be endured without some remonstrance by any sane man who knew the truth. to talk of this terrible Revolution as if it were the only harvest ever known under the skies that had not been sown—as if nothing had ever been done. far on his way to state promotion. Such vapouring. combined with the extravagant plots of Monseigneur for the restoration of a state of things that had utterly exhausted itself. and worn out Heaven and earth as well as itself. of the King’s Bench Bar. and doing without them: and for accomplishing many similar objects akin in their nature to 420 of 670 . Among the talkers. and had not in plain words recorded what they saw. and which still kept him so. years before. like a troublesome confusion of blood in his own head. therefore. or omitted to be done.A Tale of Two Cities much too much the way of native British orthodoxy. had not seen it inevitably coming. added to a latent uneasiness in his mind. and. And it was such vapouring all about his ears.

Doctor Manette had made it his one urgent and express request to Charles Darnay. London. The House approached Mr. and Darnay stood divided between going away that he might hear no more. Confided to the cares of Messrs. Bankers. Darnay heard with a particular feeling of objection. of France. turned into English. Tellson and Co. ran: ‘Very pressing. and laying a soiled and unopened letter before him. Him. 421 of 670 . England. The address. To Monsieur heretofore the Marquis St. Lorry. his own wife had no suspicion of the fact. went on to shape itself out.’ On the marriage morning. dissolved the obligation—kept inviolate between them. Nobody else knew it to be his name. asked if he had yet discovered any traces of the person to whom it was addressed? The House laid the letter down so close to Darnay that he saw the direction—the more quickly because it was his own right name. that the secret of this name should be—unless he. Mr. Lorry could have none.A Tale of Two Cities the abolition of eagles by sprinkling salt on the tails of the race. the Doctor. when the thing that was to be. Evremonde.. and remaining to interpose his word.

’ said another—this Monseigneur had been got out of Paris. abandoned the estates when he inherited them.’ 422 of 670 . and left them to the ruffian herd. I believe—but in any case degenerate successor—of the polished Marquis who was murdered.’ The hands of the clock verging upon the hour of closing the Bank. That. and This. I think. eyeing the direction through his glass in passing. in a load of hay—‘some years ago. as he deserves. and Monseigneur looked at it. and Monseigneur looked at it in the person of that plotting and indignant refugee. Lorry’s desk. ‘Happy to say.’ said a third. I never knew him. and no one can tell me where this gentleman is to be found. ‘Nephew. in French or in English. to everybody now here. there was a general set of the current of talkers past Mr. and The Other. legs uppermost and half suffocated. in the person of this plotting and indignant refugee. ‘set himself in opposition to the last Marquis.A Tale of Two Cities ‘No. They will recompense him now. in reply to the House.’ ‘A craven who abandoned his post. He held the letter out inquiringly. ‘I have referred it.’ said Mr. concerning the Marquis who was not to be found. Lorry.’ said one. all had something disparaging to say.’ ‘Infected with the new doctrines. I hope.

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‘Hey?’ cried the blatant Stryver. ‘Did he though? Is that the sort of fellow? Let us look at his infamous name. D—n the fellow!’ Darnay, unable to restrain himself any longer, touched Mr. Stryver on the shoulder, and said: ‘I know the fellow.’ ‘Do you, by Jupiter?’ said Stryver. ‘I am sorry for it.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Why, Mr. Darnay? D’ye hear what he did? Don’t ask, why, in these times.’ ‘But I do ask why?’ ‘Then I tell you again, Mr. Darnay, I am sorry for it. I am sorry to hear you putting any such extraordinary questions. Here is a fellow, who, infected by the most pestilent and blasphemous code of devilry that ever was known, abandoned his property to the vilest scum of the earth that ever did murder by wholesale, and you ask me why I am sorry that a man who instructs youth knows him? Well, but I’ll answer you. I am sorry because I believe there is contamination in such a scoundrel. That’s why.’ Mindful of the secret, Darnay with great difficulty checked himself, and said: ‘You may not understand the gentleman.’ 423 of 670

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‘I understand how to put YOU in a corner, Mr. Darnay,’ said Bully Stryver, ‘and I’ll do it. If this fellow is a gentleman, I DON’T understand him. You may tell him so, with my compliments. You may also tell him, from me, that after abandoning his worldly goods and position to this butcherly mob, I wonder he is not at the head of them. But, no, gentlemen,’ said Stryver, looking all round, and snapping his fingers, ‘I know something of human nature, and I tell you that you’ll never find a fellow like this fellow, trusting himself to the mercies of such precious PROTEGES. No, gentlemen; he’ll always show ‘em a clean pair of heels very early in the scuffle, and sneak away.’ With those words, and a final snap of his fingers, Mr. Stryver shouldered himself into Fleet-street, amidst the general approbation of his hearers. Mr. Lorry and Charles Darnay were left alone at the desk, in the general departure from the Bank. ‘Will you take charge of the letter?’ said Mr. Lorry. ‘You know where to deliver it?’ ‘I do.’ ‘Will you undertake to explain, that we suppose it to have been addressed here, on the chance of our knowing where to forward it, and that it has been here some time?’ 424 of 670

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‘I will do so. Do you start for Paris from here?’ ‘From here, at eight.’ ‘I will come back, to see you off.’ Very ill at ease with himself, and with Stryver and most other men, Darnay made the best of his way into the quiet of the Temple, opened the letter, and read it. These were its contents: ‘Prison of the Abbaye, Paris. ‘June 21, 1792. ‘MONSIEUR HERETOFORE THE MARQUIS. ‘After having long been in danger of my life at the hands of the village, I have been seized, with great violence and indignity, and brought a long journey on foot to Paris. On the road I have suffered a great deal. Nor is that all; my house has been destroyed—razed to the ground. ‘The crime for which I am imprisoned, Monsieur heretofore the Marquis, and for which I shall be summoned before the tribunal, and shall lose my life (without your so generous help), is, they tell me, treason against the majesty of the people, in that I have acted against them for an emigrant. It is in vain I represent that I have acted for them, and not against, according to your commands. It is in vain I represent that, before the 425 of 670

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sequestration of emigrant property, I had remitted the imposts they had ceased to pay; that I had collected no rent; that I had had recourse to no process. The only response is, that I have acted for an emigrant, and where is that emigrant? ‘Ah! most gracious Monsieur heretofore the Marquis, where is that emigrant? I cry in my sleep where is he? I demand of Heaven, will he not come to deliver me? No answer. Ah Monsieur heretofore the Marquis, I send my desolate cry across the sea, hoping it may perhaps reach your ears through the great bank of Tilson known at Paris! ‘For the love of Heaven, of justice, of generosity, of the honour of your noble name, I supplicate you, Monsieur heretofore the Marquis, to succour and release me. My fault is, that I have been true to you. Oh Monsieur heretofore the Marquis, I pray you be you true to me! ‘From this prison here of horror, whence I every hour tend nearer and nearer to destruction, I send you, Monsieur heretofore the Marquis, the assurance of my dolorous and unhappy service. ‘Your afflicted, ‘Gabelle.’ The latent uneasiness in Darnay’s mind was roused to vigourous life by this letter. The peril of an old servant and 426 of 670

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a good one, whose only crime was fidelity to himself and his family, stared him so reproachfully in the face, that, as he walked to and fro in the Temple considering what to do, he almost hid his face from the passersby. He knew very well, that in his horror of the deed which had culminated the bad deeds and bad reputation of the old family house, in his resentful suspicions of his uncle, and in the aversion with which his conscience regarded the crumbling fabric that he was supposed to uphold, he had acted imperfectly. He knew very well, that in his love for Lucie, his renunciation of his social place, though by no means new to his own mind, had been hurried and incomplete. He knew that he ought to have systematically worked it out and supervised it, and that he had meant to do it, and that it had never been done. The happiness of his own chosen English home, the necessity of being always actively employed, the swift changes and troubles of the time which had followed on one another so fast, that the events of this week annihilated the immature plans of last week, and the events of the week following made all new again; he knew very well, that to the force of these circumstances he had yielded:—not without disquiet, but still without continuous and accumulating resistance. That he had 427 of 670

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watched the times for a time of action, and that they had shifted and struggled until the time had gone by, and the nobility were trooping from France by every highway and byway, and their property was in course of confiscation and destruction, and their very names were blotting out, was as well known to himself as it could be to any new authority in France that might impeach him for it. But, he had oppressed no man, he had imprisoned no man; he was so far from having harshly exacted payment of his dues, that he had relinquished them of his own will, thrown himself on a world with no favour in it, won his own private place there, and earned his own bread. Monsieur Gabelle had held the impoverished and involved estate on written instructions, to spare the people, to give them what little there was to give—such fuel as the heavy creditors would let them have in the winter, and such produce as could be saved from the same grip in the summer—and no doubt he had put the fact in plea and proof, for his own safety, so that it could not but appear now. This favoured the desperate resolution Charles Darnay had begun to make, that he would go to Paris. Yes. Like the mariner in the old story, the winds and streams had driven him within the influence of the 428 of 670

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Loadstone Rock, and it was drawing him to itself, and he must go. Everything that arose before his mind drifted him on, faster and faster, more and more steadily, to the terrible attraction. His latent uneasiness had been, that bad aims were being worked out in his own unhappy land by bad instruments, and that he who could not fail to know that he was better than they, was not there, trying to do something to stay bloodshed, and assert the claims of mercy and humanity. With this uneasiness half stifled, and half reproaching him, he had been brought to the pointed comparison of himself with the brave old gentleman in whom duty was so strong; upon that comparison (injurious to himself) had instantly followed the sneers of Monseigneur, which had stung him bitterly, and those of Stryver, which above all were coarse and galling, for old reasons. Upon those, had followed Gabelle’s letter: the appeal of an innocent prisoner, in danger of death, to his justice, honour, and good name. His resolution was made. He must go to Paris. Yes. The Loadstone Rock was drawing him, and he must sail on, until he struck. He knew of no rock; he saw hardly any danger. The intention with which he had done what he had done, even although he had left it incomplete, presented it before him in an aspect that 429 of 670

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would be gratefully acknowledged in France on his presenting himself to assert it. Then, that glorious vision of doing good, which is so often the sanguine mirage of so many good minds, arose before him, and he even saw himself in the illusion with some influence to guide this raging Revolution that was running so fearfully wild. As he walked to and fro with his resolution made, he considered that neither Lucie nor her father must know of it until he was gone. Lucie should be spared the pain of separation; and her father, always reluctant to turn his thoughts towards the dangerous ground of old, should come to the knowledge of the step, as a step taken, and not in the balance of suspense and doubt. How much of the incompleteness of his situation was referable to her father, through the painful anxiety to avoid reviving old associations of France in his mind, he did not discuss with himself. But, that circumstance too, had had its influence in his course. He walked to and fro, with thoughts very busy, until it was time to return to Tellson’s and take leave of Mr. Lorry. As soon as he arrived in Paris he would present himself to this old friend, but he must say nothing of his intention now.

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A carriage with post-horses was ready at the Bank door, and Jerry was booted and equipped. ‘I have delivered that letter,’ said Charles Darnay to Mr. Lorry. ‘I would not consent to your being charged with any written answer, but perhaps you will take a verbal one?’ ‘That I will, and readily,’ said Mr. Lorry, ‘if it is not dangerous.’ ‘Not at all. Though it is to a prisoner in the Abbaye.’ ‘What is his name?’ said Mr. Lorry, with his open pocket-book in his hand. ‘Gabelle.’ ‘Gabelle. And what is the message to the unfortunate Gabelle in prison?’ ‘Simply, ‘that he has received the letter, and will come.’’ ‘Any time mentioned?’ ‘He will start upon his journey to-morrow night.’ ‘Any person mentioned?’ ‘No.’ He helped Mr. Lorry to wrap himself in a number of coats and cloaks, and went out with him from the warm atmosphere of the old Bank, into the misty air of Fleetstreet. ‘My love to Lucie, and to little Lucie,’ said Mr. 431 of 670

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Lorry at parting, ‘and take precious care of them till I come back.’ Charles Darnay shook his head and doubtfully smiled, as the carriage rolled away. That night—it was the fourteenth of August—he sat up late, and wrote two fervent letters; one was to Lucie, explaining the strong obligation he was under to go to Paris, and showing her, at length, the reasons that he had, for feeling confident that he could become involved in no personal danger there; the other was to the Doctor, confiding Lucie and their dear child to his care, and dwelling on the same topics with the strongest assurances. To both, he wrote that he would despatch letters in proof of his safety, immediately after his arrival. It was a hard day, that day of being among them, with the first reservation of their joint lives on his mind. It was a hard matter to preserve the innocent deceit of which they were profoundly unsuspicious. But, an affectionate glance at his wife, so happy and busy, made him resolute not to tell her what impended (he had been half moved to do it, so strange it was to him to act in anything without her quiet aid), and the day passed quickly. Early in the evening he embraced her, and her scarcely less dear namesake, pretending that he would return by-and-bye (an imaginary engagement took him out, and he had 432 of 670

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secreted a valise of clothes ready), and so he emerged into the heavy mist of the heavy streets, with a heavier heart. The unseen force was drawing him fast to itself, now, and all the tides and winds were setting straight and strong towards it. He left his two letters with a trusty porter, to be delivered half an hour before midnight, and no sooner; took horse for Dover; and began his journey. ‘For the love of Heaven, of justice, of generosity, of the honour of your noble name!’ was the poor prisoner’s cry with which he strengthened his sinking heart, as he left all that was dear on earth behind him, and floated away for the Loadstone Rock. The end of the second book.

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Book the Third—the Track of a Storm

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I In Secret
The traveller fared slowly on his way, who fared towards Paris from England in the autumn of the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two. More than enough of bad roads, bad equipages, and bad horses, he would have encountered to delay him, though the fallen and unfortunate King of France had been upon his throne in all his glory; but, the changed times were fraught with other obstacles than these. Every town-gate and village taxing-house had its band of citizen- patriots, with their national muskets in a most explosive state of readiness, who stopped all comers and goers, cross-questioned them, inspected their papers, looked for their names in lists of their own, turned them back, or sent them on, or stopped them and laid them in hold, as their capricious judgment or fancy deemed best for the dawning Republic One and Indivisible, of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death. A very few French leagues of his journey were accomplished, when Charles Darnay began to perceive that for him along these country roads there was no hope of return until he should have been declared a good

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as little surprised as a man could be. This universal watchfulness not only stopped him on the highway twenty times in a stage. And he was. he could not have felt his freedom more completely gone. by riding after him and taking him back. he must on to his journey’s end. when he went to bed tired out. but he knew it to be another iron door in the series that was barred between him and England. to find himself awakened at the small inn to 436 of 670 . not a common barrier dropped across the road behind him. His difficulty at the guard-house in this small place had been such. riding with him and keeping him in charge. still a long way from Paris. in a little town on the high road.A Tale of Two Cities citizen at Paris. He had been days upon his journey in France alone. Nothing but the production of the afflicted Gabelle’s letter from his prison of the Abbaye would have got him on so far. Not a mean village closed upon him. that if he had been taken in a net. that he felt his journey to have come to a crisis. but retarded his progress twenty times in a day. or were being forwarded to his destination in a cage. riding before him and stopping him by anticipation. therefore. The universal watchfulness so encompassed him. Whatever might befall now.

’ ‘Citizen. ‘Emigrant. and must have an escort—and must pay for it. ‘Choice! Listen to him!’ cried the same scowling redcap. I desire nothing more than to get to Paris.’ ‘Silence!’ growled a red-cap. under an escort.’ ‘I have no choice. where other patriots in rough red caps were smoking. ‘Rise and dress yourself.’ observed the functionary.’ observed the timid functionary.’ Darnay complied. who sat down on the bed. in the middle of the night. aristocrat!’ ‘It is as the good patriot says.A Tale of Two Cities which he had been remitted until morning. and sleeping. ‘I am going to send you on to Paris. ‘You are an aristocrat. and was taken back to the guardhouse. drinking. ‘As if it was not a favour to be protected from the lamp-iron!’ ‘It is always as the good patriot says. striking at the coverlet with the butt-end of his musket.’ said Charles Darnay.’ said the functionary. Here he 437 of 670 . though I could dispense with the escort. by a watch-fire. ‘Peace. Awakened by a timid local functionary and three armed patriots in rough red caps and with pipes in their mouths. emigrant.

and carrying his musket very recklessly. for. The escort were two mounted patriots in red caps and tri-coloured cockades. In this state they set forth with the sharp rain driving in their faces: clattering at a heavy dragoon trot over the uneven town pavement. The escorted governed his own horse. armed with national muskets and sabres. wet roads at three o’clock in the morning. that they twisted straw round their bare legs.deep leagues that lay between them and the capital. The escort were so wretchedly clothed. halting an hour or two after daybreak.A Tale of Two Cities paid a heavy price for his escort. except of horses and pace. Apart from the personal discomfort of being so attended. and lying by until the twilight fell. but a loose line was attached to his bridle. and hence he started with it on the wet. the end of which one of the patriots kept girded round his wrist. Charles Darnay did not allow the restraint that was laid upon him to awaken any serious fears in his breast. all the mire. he 438 of 670 . and out upon the mire-deep roads. They travelled in the night. and apart from such considerations of present danger as arose from one of the patriots being chronically drunk. In this state they traversed without change. and thatched their ragged shoulders to keep the wet off. who rode one on either side of him.

‘Ay! and condemned as a traitor. resuming it as his safest place. An ominous crowd gathered to see him dismount of the posting-yard. when the streets were filled with people—he could not conceal from himself that the aspect of affairs was very alarming. of my own will?’ ‘You are a cursed emigrant. and. But when they came to the town of Beauvais—which they did at eventide. 439 of 670 . swinging his hammer. my friends! Do you not see me here. said: ‘Emigrant. and soothingly said. in France. confirmable by the prisoner in the Abbaye. that were not yet made. ‘Let him be.’ At this the crowd roared approval. and many voices called out loudly.A Tale of Two Cities reasoned with himself that it could have no reference to the merits of an individual case that was not yet stated.’ ‘Judged!’ repeated the farrier. ‘and you are a cursed aristocrat!’ The postmaster interposed himself between this man and the rider’s bridle (at which he was evidently making). ‘Down with the emigrant!’ He stopped in the act of swinging himself out of his saddle. hammer in hand.’ cried a farrier. let him be! He will be judged at Paris. making at him in a furious manner through the press. and of representations.

and the postmaster shut and barred the crazy double gates. and the crowd groaned. who was for turning his horse’s head to the yard (the drunken patriot sat composedly in his saddle looking on. His cursed life is not his own!’ At the instant when Darnay saw a rush in the eyes of the crowd. but. I am not a traitor. ‘What is this decree that the smith spoke of?’ Darnay asked the postmaster. ‘He is a traitor since the decree. His life is forfeit to the people. or you are deceived. no more was done. with the line round his wrist). Darnay said.’ ‘When passed?’ ‘On the fourteenth. when he had thanked him. which another instant would have brought upon him. a decree for selling the property of emigrants. ‘Truly. The farrier struck a blow upon them with his hammer.A Tale of Two Cities Checking the postmaster. and stood beside him in the yard. as soon as he could make his voice heard: ‘Friends.’ ‘The day I left England!’ 440 of 670 .’ ‘He lies!’ cried the smith. the escort rode in close upon his horse’s flanks. you deceive yourselves. the postmaster turned his horse into the yard.

not the least was the seeming rarity of sleep. and condemning all to death who return. It is all the same. What would you have?’ They rested on some straw in a loft until the middle of the night. they would come to a cluster of poor cottages.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Everybody says it is but one of several. ‘there may be. Among the many wild changes observable on familiar things which made this wild ride unreal. circling hand in hand round a shrivelled tree of Liberty. however. and would find the people. and that there will be others—if there are not already-banishing all emigrants. Happily. in a ghostly manner in the dead of the night. After long and lonely spurring over dreary roads. or all drawn up together singing a Liberty song. not steeped in darkness. among impoverished fields that had yielded no fruits of the earth that year. but all glittering with lights.’ ‘But there are no such decrees yet?’ ‘What do I know!’ said the postmaster. 441 of 670 . shrugging his shoulders. That is what he meant when he said your life was not your own. or there will be. there was sleep in Beauvais that night to help them out of it and they passed on once more into solitude and loneliness: jingling through the untimely cold and wet. and then rode forward again when all the town was asleep.

and went into the guard-room. and looked at Darnay with a close attention. ‘Where are the papers of this prisoner?’ demanded a resolute-looking man in authority. and sharp reining up across their way.A Tale of Two Cities diversified by the blackened remains of burnt houses. however. Charles Darnay requested the speaker to take notice that he was a free traveller and French citizen. Casting his eyes over Gabelle’s letter. and by the sudden emergence from ambuscade. without taking any heed of him whatever. the same personage in authority showed some disorder and surprise. meanwhile. they 442 of 670 . and produced them. in charge of an escort which the disturbed state of the country had imposed upon him. The barrier was closed and strongly guarded when they rode up to it. ‘Where.’ repeated the same personage. Daylight at last found them before the wall of Paris. of patriot patrols on the watch on all the roads. ‘are the papers of this prisoner?’ The drunken patriot had them in his cap. He left escort and escorted without saying a word. who was summoned out by the guard. and which he had paid for. Naturally struck by the disagreeable word.

and for similar traffic and traffickers. leading his tired horse. 443 of 670 . Darnay found himself confronted by the same man in authority.A Tale of Two Cities sat upon their horses outside the gate. Looking about him while in this state of suspense. taking note of these things. Then he delivered to the escort. Charles Darnay observed that the gate was held by a mixed guard of soldiers and patriots. and the two patriots. the latter far outnumbering the former. was very difficult. Some of these people knew their turn for examination to be so far off. who directed the guard to open the barrier. even for the homeliest people. or loitered about. both among men and women. but. was waiting to issue forth. drunk and sober. A numerous medley of men and women. was easy enough. not to mention beasts and vehicles of various sorts. and that while ingress into the city for peasants’ carts bringing in supplies. the previous identification was so strict. The red cap and tri-colour cockade were universal. while others talked together. a receipt for the escorted. He did so. that they filtered through the barrier very slowly. egress. and requested him to dismount. turned and rode away without entering the city. When he had sat in his saddle some half-hour. that they lay down on the ground to sleep or smoke.

asleep and awake. Evremonde?’ ‘In England.’ ‘Married. smelling of common wine and tobacco. Evremonde?’ ‘Yes. and an officer of a coarse.’ ‘Without doubt. half derived from the waning oil-lamps of the night. The light in the guard-house. Evremonde?’ ‘Thirty-seven. Where is your wife. and half from the overcast day. presided over these. dark aspect. where certain soldiers and patriots. drunkenness and sobriety.’ said he to Darnay&#x2019. was in a correspondingly uncertain condition.’ ‘Where married?’ ‘In England. You are consigned.A Tale of Two Cities He accompanied his conductor into a guard-room. ‘Is this the emigrant Evremonde?’ ‘This is the man.’ ‘Without doubt. and in various neutral states between sleeping and waking. as he took a slip of paper to write on. to the prison of La Force. were standing and lying about. drunk and sober.s conductor. Evremonde. ‘Citizen Defarge. Some registers were lying open on a desk.’ ‘Your age.’ 444 of 670 .

’ He said it with a hard smile.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Just Heaven!’ exclaimed Darnay. and went on writing. The prisoner obeyed. I demand no more than the opportunity to do so without delay. ‘Is it you.’ said Defarge. with the words ‘In secret. Is not that my right?’ ‘Emigrants have no rights. as they went down the guardhouse steps and turned into Paris. in a low voice. ‘who married the daughter of Doctor Manette. and new offences.’ replied Darnay. ‘I entreat you to observe that I have come here voluntarily.’ Defarge motioned with the paper to the prisoner that he must accompany him. The officer wrote until he had finished. looking at him with surprise. Evremonde. and a guard of two armed patriots attended them. since you were here. and handed it to Defarge. and for what offence?’ The officer looked up from his slip of paper for a moment. sanded it. once a prisoner in the Bastille that is no more?’ ‘Yes. 445 of 670 . in response to that written appeal of a fellowcountryman which lies before you. ‘We have new laws. ‘Under what law. read over to himself what he had written.’ was the stolid reply. Evremonde.

why did you come to France?’ ‘You heard me say why.’ said Defarge. to say with sudden impatience. You can say what it is. shall I have some free communication with the world outside?’ ‘You will see. Possibly you have heard of me. speaking with knitted brows. ‘Will you answer me a single question?’ ‘Perhaps. ‘In the name of that sharp female newly-born. All here is so unprecedented. a minute ago.’ ‘In this prison that I am going to so unjustly. According to its nature.’ 446 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities ‘My name is Defarge. and called La Guillotine. Will you render me a little help?’ ‘None. always looking straight before him. ‘Indeed I am lost here. that I am absolutely lost. and I keep a wine-shop in the Quarter Saint Antoine.’ Defarge spoke. Do you not believe it is the truth?’ ‘A bad truth for you. so changed. so sudden and unfair.’ ‘My wife came to your house to reclaim her father? Yes!’ The word ‘wife’ seemed to serve as a gloomy reminder to Defarge. and looking straight before him.

Citizen. that I have been thrown into the prison of La Force. before now. an English gentleman who is now in Paris. But. that I should be able to communicate to Mr. what then? Other people have been similarly buried in worse prisons.’ ‘But never by me. and without any means of presenting my case?’ ‘You will see. and walked on in a steady and set silence. prejudged. the simple fact. he could not but see how used the people were to 447 of 670 . Will you cause that to be done for me?’ ‘I will do. made haste to say: ‘It is of the utmost importance to me (you know. He. without comment. Lorry of Tellson’s Bank. against you. even better than I. ‘nothing for you. The deeper he sank into this silence. therefore.’ Charles Darnay felt it hopeless to entreat him further. My duty is to my country and the People.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I am not to be buried there. of how much importance). I will do nothing for you. As they walked on in silence. I am the sworn servant of both.’ Defarge doggedly rejoined. the fainter hope there was—or so Darnay thought—of his softening in any slight degree.’ Defarge glanced darkly at him for answer. and his pride was touched besides. Citizen Defarge.

A Tale of Two Cities the spectacle of prisoners passing along the streets. The very children scarcely noticed him. of the king and the royal family. was no more remarkable than that a labourer in working clothes should be going to work. he of course knew now. A few passers turned their heads. In one narrow. mounted on a stool. that a man in good clothes should be going to prison. otherwise. and a few shook their fingers at him as an aristocrat. That perils had thickened about him fast. imagined by the light of this later 448 of 670 . dark. The few words that he caught from this man’s lips. He could not but admit to himself that he might not have made this journey. and might thicken faster and faster yet. The escort and the universal watchfulness had completely isolated him. he of course knew now. first made it known to Charles Darnay that the king was in prison. if he could have foreseen the events of a few days. And yet his misgivings were not so dark as. That he had fallen among far greater dangers than those which had developed themselves when he left England. On the road (except at Beauvais) he had heard absolutely nothing. an excited orator. and dirty street through which they passed. and that the foreign ambassadors had one and all left Paris. was addressing an excited audience on the crimes against the people.

’ ‘What the Devil! How many more of them!’ exclaimed the man with the bloated face. but. A man with a bloated face opened the strong wicket. The horrible massacre. and called La Guillotine. it was the unknown future. The ‘sharp female newlyborn. or to the generality of people. they would appear. How could they have a place in the shadowy conceptions of a gentle mind? Of unjust treatment in detention and hardship. was to set a great mark of blood upon the blessed garnering time of harvest. 449 of 670 . or the certainty. With this on his mind. which was enough to carry into a dreary prison courtyard. and in its obscurity there was ignorant hope. beyond this.’ was hardly known to him. and in cruel separation from his wife and child. to whom Defarge presented ‘The Emigrant Evremonde. The frightful deeds that were to be soon done. he foreshadowed the likelihood. he dreaded nothing distinctly. within a few rounds of the clock. were probably unimagined at that time in the brains of the doers. Troubled as the future was. he arrived at the prison of La Force. days and nights long.A Tale of Two Cities time. was as far out of his knowledge as if it had been a hundred thousand years away. which. by name.

dark and filthy. 450 of 670 . too. ‘As if I was not already full to bursting!’ He stuck the paper on a file.’ which sounded in that place like an inappropriate conclusion. The prison of La Force was a gloomy prison. and one added. with his two fellow-patriots. pacing to and fro in the strong arched room: sometimes. and with a horrible smell of foul sleep in it. merely replied. ‘One must have patience. ‘How many more!’ The gaoler’s wife. being provided with no answer to the question. and Charles Darnay awaited his further pleasure for half an hour: sometimes. ‘What the Devil. looking at the written paper. I say again!’ exclaimed the gaoler.’ grumbled the gaoler. left with his wife. my dear!’ Three turnkeys who entered responsive to a bell she rang.A Tale of Two Cities Defarge took his receipt without noticing the exclamation. echoed the sentiment. resting on a stone seat: in either case detained to be imprinted on the memory of the chief and his subordinates. ‘For the love of Liberty. in an ill-humour. Extraordinary how soon the noisome flavour of imprisoned sleep. becomes manifest in all such places that are ill cared for! ‘In secret. and withdrew.

The women were seated at a long table.’ Through the dismal prison twilight. vaulted chamber. many doors clanging and locking behind them. the ghost of pride. their all at once rising to receive him. knitting. In the instinctive association of prisoners with shameful crime and disgrace. was. So strangely clouded were these refinements by the prison manners and gloom. But the crowning unreality of his long unreal ride. so spectral did they become in the inappropriate squalor and misery through which they were seen. crowded with prisoners of both sexes. the ghost of age. low. all waiting their dismissal from the 451 of 670 . with every refinement of manner known to the time.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Come!’ said the chief. his new charge accompanied him by corridor and staircase. the ghost of youth. the ghost of stateliness. and embroidering. that Charles Darnay seemed to stand in a company of the dead. the ghost of frivolity. and with all the engaging graces and courtesies of life. the new-comer recoiled from this company. sewing. the men were for the most part standing behind their chairs. until they came into a large. emigrant. ‘come with me. the ghost of wit. the ghost of elegance. Ghosts all! The ghost of beauty. reading and writing. or lingering up and down the room. at length taking up his keys.

coming forward.’ said a gentleman of courtly appearance and address. in words as suitable as he could find. It struck him motionless. ghosts all. the young beauty.A Tale of Two Cities desolate shore. and the other gaolers moving about. May it soon terminate happily! It would be an impertinence elsewhere. Surely. but it is not so here. was heightened to its utmost. who would have been well enough as to appearance in the ordinary exercise of their functions. to ask your name and condition?’ Charles Darnay roused himself. 452 of 670 . and gave the required information. and of condoling with you on the calamity that has brought you among us. The gaoler standing at his side. the long unreal ride some progress of disease that had brought him to these gloomy shades! ‘In the name of the assembled companions in misfortune. ‘I have the honour of giving you welcome to La Force. and the mature woman delicately bred—that the inversion of all experience and likelihood which the scene of shadows presented. all turning on him eyes that were changed by the death they had died in coming there. Surely. looked so extravagantly coarse contrasted with sorrowing mothers and blooming daughters who were there—with the apparitions of the coquette.

and they passed into a solitary cell. the gaoler opened a low black door. but I have heard them say so.’ Then he added.’ said the gentleman. but was not dark.’ ‘Ah. When they bad ascended forty steps (the prisoner of half an hour already counted them). and many voices—among which. several members of our society have been in secret. He turned at the grated door. The wicket opened on a stone staircase.A Tale of Two Cities ‘But I hope. what a pity! We so much regret it! But take courage. It struck cold and damp. to render the thanks of his heart. who moved across the room. and the apparitions vanished from his sight forever.’ said the gaoler. raising his voice. leading upward.’ There was a murmur of commiseration as Charles Darnay crossed the room to a grated door where the gaoler awaited him. following the chief gaoler with his eyes. ‘that you are not in secret?’ ‘I do not understand the meaning of the term. ‘I grieve to inform the society—in secret. the soft and compassionate voices of women were conspicuous—gave him good wishes and encouragement. ‘Yours. and it has lasted but a short time. 453 of 670 . it closed under the gaoler’s hand. at first.

and of the four walls. that this gaoler was so unwholesomely bloated. and can ask then. and a straw mattress. you may buy your food. five paces by four and a half. ‘And here in these crawling creatures is the first condition of the body after death.’ ‘Five paces by four and a half. as if I were dead. ink. ‘He made shoes.’ Stopping then. a wandering fancy wandered through the mind of the prisoner leaning against the wall opposite to him.’ The prisoner walked to and fro in his cell. he thought in the same wandering way. a table.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Why am I confined alone?’ ‘How do I know!’ ‘I can buy pen. As the gaoler made a general inspection of these objects. as to look like a man who had been drowned and filled with water. ‘Now am I left. At present. five paces by four and a half.’ There were in the cell. and the roar of the city arose like muffled drums with a wild swell of voices added to them. both in face and person. a chair. counting its measurement. and nothing more. and paper?’ ‘Such are not my orders. he 454 of 670 . and thought. he made shoes. he turned from it with a sick feeling. before going out. to look down at the mattress. You will be visited. When the gaoler was gone.

* * * * Five paces by four and a half. he made shoes. ‘The ghosts that vanished when the wicket closed. to draw his mind with him from that latter repetition. through the illuminated villages with the people all awake! * * * * He made shoes.’ With such scraps tossing and rolling upward from the depths of his mind. the appearance of a lady dressed in black. There was one among them. and the roar of the city changed to this extent—that it still rolled in like muffled drums. obstinately counting and counting. the prisoner walked faster and faster. for God’s sake. who was leaning in the embrasure of a window. and she looked like * * * * Let us ride on again. but with the wail of voices that he knew. and paced faster. he made shoes. and she had a light shining upon her golden hair. 455 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities made shoes.’ The prisoner counted the measurement again. in the swell that rose above them.

Monseigneur gone. Equality. and decree followed decree with that fierce precipitation. approached by a courtyard and shut off from the street by a high wall and a strong gate. by being more than ready and willing to cut his throat on the altar of the dawning Republic one and indivisible of Liberty. or Death. established in the Saint Germain Quarter of Paris. in his own cook’s dress. that now upon the third night of the autumn month of September. the preparation of whose chocolate for whose lips had once occupied three strong men besides the cook in question. Fraternity. patriot 456 of 670 . he was still in his metempsychosis no other than the same Monseigneur. and then confiscated. For. and got across the borders. and the three strong men absolving themselves from the sin of having drawn his high wages. all things moved so fast.A Tale of Two Cities II The Grindstone Tellson’s Bank. A mere beast of the chase flying from hunters. Monseigneur’s house had been first sequestrated. The house belonged to a great nobleman who had lived in it until he made a flight from the troubles. was in a wing of a large house.

aiming (as he very often does) at money from morning to night. as long as the times held together. but he was still to be seen on the ceiling. Tellson’s had whitewashed the Cupid. and also of a curtained alcove in the rear of the immortal boy. would soon have driven the House out of its mind and into the Gazette. in Lombardstreet. For.A Tale of Two Cities emissaries of the law were in possession of Monseigneur’s house. a French Tellson’s could get on with these things exceedingly well. and what would lie there. what plate and jewels would tarnish in Tellson’s hidingplaces. Bankruptcy must inevitably have come of this young Pagan. and. what would staid British responsibility and respectability have said to orange-trees in boxes in a Bank courtyard. lost and forgotten. and also of a looking-glass let into the wall. and drawn out his money. Yet. while the depositors rusted in prisons. in the coolest linen. and even to a Cupid over the counter? Yet such things were. and when 457 of 670 . who danced in public on the slightest provocation. What money would be drawn out of Tellson’s henceforth. no man had taken fright at them. and were drinking brandy in its state apartments. A place of business in London like Tellson’s place of business in Paris. and had marked it with the tri-colour. London. and also of clerks not at all old.

was a large grindstone: a roughly mounted thing which appeared to have hurriedly been brought there from some neighbouring smithy. it chanced that they derived a kind of security from the patriotic occupation of the main building. that night. All such circumstances were indifferent to him. though he thought heavily of these questions. and on his honest and courageous face there was a deeper shade than the pendent lamp could throw. under a colonnade. but the true-hearted old gentleman never calculated about that.A Tale of Two Cities they should have violently perished. or any object in the room distortedly reflect—a shade of horror. He occupied rooms in the Bank. Jarvis Lorry could. so that he did his duty. indeed. He sat by a newlylighted wood fire (the blighted and unfruitful year was prematurely cold). some carriages of Monseigneur yet stood. Against two of the pillars were fastened two great flaring flambeaux. and in the light of these. how many accounts with Tellson’s never to be balanced in this world. was extensive standing—for carriages—where. On the opposite side of the courtyard. in his fidelity to the House of which he had grown to be a part. no man could have said. or other 458 of 670 . lie strong root-ivy. standing out in the open air. any more than Mr. must be carried over into the next.

From the streets beyond the high wall and the strong gate. Rising and looking out of window at these harmless objects. as if some unwonted sounds of a terrible nature were going up to Heaven. But. clasping his hands. and he had closed both again.’ said Mr. ‘that no one near and dear to me is in this dreadful town tonight. with such feelings roused. May He have mercy on all who are in danger!’ Soon afterwards. and he heard the gate clash again. It was well guarded. and he shivered through his frame. and he got up to go among the trusty people who were watching it. He had opened. which a great change would naturally awaken. but the lattice blind outside it. ‘Thank God. there was no loud irruption into the courtyard. the bell at the great gate sounded. there came the usual night hum of the city. Mr.A Tale of Two Cities workshop. and all was quiet. not only the glass window. and he thought. Lorry shivered. The nervousness and dread that were upon him inspired that vague uneasiness respecting the Bank. as he had expected. with now and then an indescribable ring in it. Lorry. ‘They have come back!’ and sat listening. and retired to his seat by the fire. weird and unearthly. when his door 459 of 670 .

in her paleness and wildness. the beg of the great gate rang again. in Paris?’ ‘Has been here some days—three or four—I don’t know how many— I can’t collect my thoughts. Lucie?’ ‘Charles. she panted out in his arms. ‘What is the matter? Lucie! Manette! What has happened? What has brought you here? What is it?’ With the look fixed upon him. at sight of which he fell back in amazement. that it seemed as though it had been stamped upon her face expressly to give force and power to it in this one passage of her life.’ ‘What of Charles?’ ‘Here. he was stopped at the barrier. breathless and confused.A Tale of Two Cities suddenly opened. ‘What is this?’ cried Mr. ‘O my dear friend! My husband!’ ‘Your husband. Almost at the same moment. and a 460 of 670 . Lucie and her father! Lucie with her arms stretched out to him.’ The old man uttered an irrepressible cry. and sent to prison. An errand of generosity brought him here unknown to us. ‘Here. imploringly. and two figures rushed in. and with that old look of earnestness so concentrated and intensified. Lorry.

don’t touch the blind!’ The Doctor turned. and said. I solemnly swear to you that I know of no harm having happened to Charles. ‘Don’t look!’ cried Mr. What prison is he in?’ 461 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities loud noise of feet and voices came pouring into the courtyard. my love. I have been a Bastille prisoner. I knew it would be so. for your life. absolutely desperate. or carry me in triumph. I told Lucie so. Lorry. my dear. Lorry.— What is that noise?’ His hand was again upon the window. I knew I could help Charles out of all danger. Lucie. ‘Don’t be so terrified. with a cool. turning towards the window. ‘Don’t look out! Manette. ‘Don’t look!’ cried Mr. and brought us here. bold smile: ‘My dear friend. ‘What is that noise?’ said the Doctor. and gained us news of Charles there. ‘No. I have a charmed life in this city. that I had no suspicion even of his being in this fatal place. knowing me to have been a prisoner in the Bastille. except to overwhelm me with embraces. with his hand upon the fastening of the window. nor you!’ He got his arm round her. and held her. would touch me. My old pain has given me a power that has brought us through the barrier. There is no patriot in Paris—in Paris? In France—who.

is the hardest thing to do of all. I see in your face that you know I can do nothing else than this. I say this.’ ‘I will be submissive to you. and as there are Life and Death in the world you must not delay. to fill the courtyard: not more than forty or fifty in all.A Tale of Two Cities ‘La Force!’ ‘La Force! Lucie. Looked out upon a throng of men and women: not enough in number. and looked out with him into the courtyard. my child. and quiet. because what I must bid you to do for Charles’s sake. and hurried her into his room. The people in 462 of 670 . if ever you were brave and serviceable in your life—and you were always both—you will compose yourself now. or near enough. came hurrying back to the Doctor.’ The old man kissed her. for more depends upon it than you can think. you cannot possibly stir out. or I can say. and turned the key. You must leave your father and me alone for two minutes. There is no help for you in any action on your part tonight. You must instantly be obedient. still. and put his hand upon the Doctor’s arm. You must let me put you in a room at the back here. to do exactly as I bid you. and opened the window and partly opened the blind. I know you are true. then.

such awful workers. with 463 of 670 . it had evidently been set up there for their purpose. now flung backward over their necks. and such awful work! The grindstone had a double handle. as their long hair Rapped back when the whirlings of the grindstone brought their faces up. and what with dropping wine. and all staring and glaring with beastly excitement and want of sleep. and they had rushed in to work at the grindstone. some women held wine to their mouths that they might drink. and. But. and what with the stream of sparks struck out of the stone. their matted locks now flung forward over their eyes. As these ruffians turned and turned. and their hideous countenances were all bloody and sweaty. Shouldering one another to get next at the sharpening-stone. and what with dropping blood. and all awry with howling. were more horrible and cruel than the visages of the wildest savages in their most barbarous disguise. as in a convenient and retired spot. turning at it madly were two men. were men stripped to the waist. False eyebrows and false moustaches were stuck upon them.A Tale of Two Cities possession of the house had let them in at the gate. whose faces. The eye could not detect one creature in the group free from the smear of blood. all their wicked atmosphere seemed gore and fire.

as the vision of a drowning man. glancing fearfully round at the locked room. could see a world if it were there.—eyes which any unbrutalised beholder would have given twenty years of life. to petrify with a well-directed gun. Hatchets. swords. with the stain upon those rags. or of any human creature at any very great pass. ‘murdering the prisoners. men devilishly set off with spoils of women’s lace and silk and ribbon. and the Doctor looked for explanation in his friend’s ashy face. ‘They are. with the stain dyeing those trifles through and through. All this was seen in a moment. if you really have the power you think you have—as I believe you have—make yourself known to these devils. bayonets. Some of the hacked swords were tied to the wrists of those who carried them. If you are sure of what you say. were all red with it. but all deep of the one colour. They drew back from the window. knives.’ Mr. with strips of linen and fragments of dress: ligatures various in kind.A Tale of Two Cities the stain all over their limbs and bodies. men in all sorts of rags. and get taken 464 of 670 . the same red hue was red in their frenzied eyes. all brought to be sharpened. Lorry whispered the words. And as the frantic wielders of these weapons snatched them from the stream of sparks and tore away into the streets.

It may be too late. and hand to shoulder. and then Mr. his remarkable face. and a hurry. Lorry saw him. and was in the courtyard when Mr. and in the midst of a line of twenty men long. all linked shoulder to shoulder. He closed the lattice again with a fluttering heart. and a murmur. and gone in search of her husband. surrounded by all. Lorry regained the blind. hastened bareheaded out of the room. carried him in an instant to the heart of the concourse at the stone. and the unintelligible sound of his voice.A Tale of Two Cities to La Force. hastened to Lucie. and told her that her father was assisted by the people. closed the window and the curtain. it never occurred to him to be surprised by their appearance until a long time afterwards. 465 of 670 . hurried out with cries of—‘Live the Bastille prisoner! Help for the Bastille prisoner’s kindred in La Force! Room for the Bastille prisoner in front there! Save the prisoner Evremonde at La Force!’ and a thousand answering shouts. He found her child and Miss Pross with her. as he put the weapons aside like water. I don’t know. but let it not be a minute later!’ Doctor Manette pressed his hand. For a few moments there was a pause. His streaming white hair. and the impetuous confidence of his manner. but.

long night. with the moans of the poor wife! And O the long. was rising from the pavement by the side of the grindstone. fallen into a stupor on the floor at his feet.’ Twice more in all. and cautiously looked out again. this worn-out murderer descried in the imperfect light one of the carriages of 466 of 670 . and looking about him with a vacant air.’ said Mr. so besmeared that he might have been a sorely wounded soldier creeping back to consciousness on a field of slain. with no return of her father and no tidings! Twice more in the darkness the bell at the great gate sounded. Miss Pross had laid the child down on his own bed. long night. and the grindstone whirled and spluttered. Shortly. Soon afterwards the day began to dawn. Lorry. ‘What is it?’ cried Lucie. ‘Hush! The soldiers’ swords are sharpened there. Lucie had. the last spell of work was feeble and fitful. but. clinging to his hand. A man.A Tale of Two Cities when he sat watching them in such quiet as the night knew. and he softly detached himself from the clasping hand. by that time. and used as a kind of armoury. my love. ‘The place is national property now. and the irruption was repeated. O the long. affrighted. and her head had gradually fallen on the pillow beside her pretty charge.

Earth. The great grindstone. and. staggering to that gorgeous vehicle. with a red upon it that the sun had never given.A Tale of Two Cities Monseigneur. and would never take away. the lesser grindstone stood alone there in the calm morning air. 467 of 670 . had turned when Mr. and the sun was red on the courtyard. climbed in at the door. Lorry looked out again. and shut himself up to take his rest on its dainty cushions. But.

and deep in its dangerous workings. She said that her father had spoken of hiring a lodging for a short term. and as to that business charge he was a strict man of business. near the Banking-house. in that Quarter. Noon coming. Lorry when business hours came round. he would have hazarded for Lucie and her child. Lorry advised with Lucie. repudiated him.A Tale of Two Cities III The Shadow One of the first considerations which arose in the business mind of Mr. without a moment’s demur. Mr. and he thought of finding out the wine-shop again and taking counsel with its master in reference to the safest dwelling-place in the distracted state of the city. he lived in the most violent Quarter. and the Doctor not returning. His own possessions. and doubtless was influential there. But. the same consideration that suggested him. At first. was this:—that he had no right to imperil Tellson’s by sheltering the wife of an emigrant prisoner under the Bank roof. safety. As there was no 468 of 670 . life. but the great trust he held was not his own. and every minute’s delay tending to compromise Tellson’s. his mind reverted to Defarge.

‘Your servant. he could not hope to leave the city.A Tale of Two Cities business objection to this. a man stood in his presence. ‘Do you know me?’ 469 of 670 . who. Lorry. and retained to his own occupations. Mr. and much more than he had himself. high up in a removed by-street where the closed blinds in all the other windows of a high melancholy square of buildings marked deserted homes. A disturbed and doleful mind he brought to bear upon them. and wore him out with it. and he were to be released. He was again alone in his room of the previous night. and slowly and heavily the day lagged on with him. with a keenly observant look at him. when he heard a foot upon the stair.’ said Mr. He left Jerry with them. and as he foresaw that even if it were all well with Charles. as a figure to fill a doorway that would bear considerable knocking on the head. considering what to do next. It wore itself out. and Miss Pross: giving them what comfort he could. and found a suitable one. In a few moments. until the Bank closed. Lorry went out in quest of such a lodging. To this lodging he at once removed Lucie and her child. addressed him by his name.

an open scrap of paper.’ ‘Perhaps at my wine-shop?’ Much interested and agitated. Let the bearer see his wife. Lorry said: ‘You come from Doctor Manette?’ ‘Yes. within an hour.A Tale of Two Cities He was a strongly made man with dark curling hair. 470 of 670 . without any change of emphasis. It bore the words in the Doctor’s writing: "Charles is safe. I come from Doctor Manette. the words: ‘Do you know me?’ ‘I have seen you somewhere. ‘Will you accompany me. joyfully relieved after reading this note aloud. Mr. For answer he repeated.’ returned Defarge. I have obtained the favour that the bearer has a short note from Charles to his wife. Lorry.’ said Mr. ‘to where his wife resides?’ ‘Yes. but I cannot safely leave this place yet.’ ‘And what says he? What does he send me?’ Defarge gave into his anxious hand. from forty-five to fifty years of age.’ It was dated from La Force.

Lorry gave her of her husband. Mr. Lorry. one. and might. alone. ‘Madame Defarge. Lorry put on his hat and they went down into the courtyard. ‘It is she. ascended the staircase of the new domicile. It is for their safety. and led the way. and clasped the hand that delivered his note—little thinking what it had been doing near him in the night. She was thrown into a transport by the tidings Mr. the second woman being The Vengeance. surely!’ said Mr. 471 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities Scarcely noticing as yet.’ Beginning to be struck by Defarge’s manner. That she may be able to recognise the faces and know the persons. There. seeing that she moved as they moved. but for a chance. in what a curiously reserved and mechanical way Defarge spoke. ‘Yes. Mr. who had left her in exactly the same attitude some seventeen years ago. and found Lucie weeping. knitting. were admitted by Jerry. ‘Does Madame go with us?’ inquired Mr. Both the women followed. Lorry looked dubiously at him. have done to him. Lorry. They passed through the intervening streets as quickly as they might.’ observed her husband. they found two women.

’ said Mr. I am well. womanly action.A Tale of Two Cities "DEAREST.’ That was all the writing. Madame Defarge met the lifted eyebrows and forehead with a cold. Madame Defarge wishes to see those whom she has the power to protect at such times. ‘there are frequent risings in the streets. striking in to explain. ‘My dear. and kissed one of the hands that knitted. rather halting in his reassuring words. Lorry. Kiss our child for me. to the end that she may know them—that she may identify them. that she turned from Defarge to his wife. It was a passionate. thankful. She stopped in the act of putting the note in her bosom. and. and your father has influence around me. however. There was something in its touch that gave Lucie a check. but the hand made no response—dropped cold and heavy. It was so much. loving. You cannot answer this. impassive stare. I believe.—Take courage. Lorry. and took to its knitting again. looked terrified at Madame Defarge.’ said Mr. ‘I state the case. Citizen Defarge?’ 472 of 670 . although it is not likely they will ever trouble you. to her who received it. with her hands yet at her neck. and. as the stony manner of all the three impressed itself upon him more and more.

Boldface! I hope YOU are pretty well!’ She also bestowed a British cough on Madame Defarge. The shadow attendant on 473 of 670 . is an English lady. whose rooted conviction that she was more than a match for any foreigner. ‘Well. and gave no other answer than a gruff sound of acquiescence. but.’ answered Mr. that her mother instinctively kneeled on the ground beside her. madame. ‘Is that his child?’ said Madame Defarge. and knows no French. neither of the two took much heed of her. Lucie. by tone and manner.A Tale of Two Cities Defarge looked gloomily at his wife. and our good Pross.’ The shadow attendant on Madame Defarge and her party seemed to fall so threatening and dark on the child. and observed in English to The Vengeance. ‘this is our poor prisoner’s darling daughter. Lorry. and pointing her knittingneedle at little Lucie as if it were the finger of Fate.’ The lady in question. ‘have the dear child here. was not to be shaken by distress and. danger. appeared with folded arms. doing all he could to propitiate. Lorry. I am sure. Our good Pross. Defarge. and only child. whom her eyes first encountered. ‘Yes.’ said Mr. stopping in her work for the first time. ‘You had better. and held her to her breast.

on both the mother and the child. looking down at her with perfect composure. ‘I have seen them. For my child’s sake! She will put her hands together and pray you to be merciful. but indistinct and withheld—to alarm Lucie into saying. Defarge. ‘It is the daughter of your father who is my business here. the suppressed manner had enough of menace in it—not visible and presented. threatening and dark. and looked at her husband. who had been uneasily biting his thumb-nail and looking at her.’ said Madame Defarge. ‘It is enough.’ Madame Defarge received it as a compliment. then. collected his face into a sterner expression. as she laid her appealing hand on Madame Defarge’s dress: ‘You will be good to my poor husband. be merciful to my husband. You will help me to see him if you can?’ ‘Your husband is not my business here.’ ‘For my sake. We may go. 474 of 670 . You will do him no harm. We are more afraid of you than of these others.A Tale of Two Cities Madame Defarge and her party seemed then to fall. my husband.’ returned Madame Defarge.’ But.

thirst. in themselves and in their children. nakedness. we have seen our sisterwomen suffer. and much less. ‘Let it do so. and said. have not been greatly considered? We have known THEIR husbands and fathers laid in prison and kept from them. turning to her friend The Vengeance: ‘The wives and mothers we have been used to see. against my innocent husband. think of me. poverty. ‘Influence. at the suppliant. sickness. oppression and neglect of all kinds?’ 475 of 670 . As a wife and mother!’ Madame Defarge looked.’ said Lucie.’ ‘As a wife and mother. hurriedly taking the paper from her breast.’ cried Lucie. often enough? All our lives. but to use it in his behalf. coldly as ever. ‘has much influence around him. since we were as little as this child. hunger. ‘I implore you to have pity on me and not to exercise any power that you possess.A Tale of Two Cities ‘What is it that your husband says in that little letter?’ asked Madame Defarge. misery. but with her alarmed eyes on her questioner and not on it. he says something touching influence?’ ‘That my father.’ ‘Surely it will release him!’ said Madame Defarge. with a lowering smile. most earnestly. O sister-woman.

courage! So far all goes well with us— much.’ ‘Tut. Cheer up. and closed the door.A Tale of Two Cities ‘We have seen nothing else. ‘We have borne this a long time. turning her eyes again upon Lucie. Defarge went last. ‘Courage. Lorry. Lucie. for all that. The Vengeance followed. my dear Lucie. but that dreadful woman seems to throw a shadow on me and on all my hopes. and in his secret mind it troubled him greatly. and have a thankful heart. I hope. ‘what is this despondency in the brave little breast? A shadow indeed! No substance in it. 476 of 670 .’ said Mr. much better than it has of late gone with many poor souls. ‘Courage.’ returned The Vengeance.’ But the shadow of the manner of these Defarges was dark upon himself. ‘Judge you! Is it likely that the trouble of one wife and mother would be much to us now?’ She resumed her knitting and went out. tut!’ said Mr.’ said Madame Defarge. Lorry.’ ‘I am not thankless. as he raised her.

and by which they were rapidly ordered to be put forth to be massacred. did she know that eleven hundred defenceless prisoners of both sexes and all ages had been killed by the populace. and that the air around her had been tainted by the slain. and that some had been dragged out by the crowd and murdered. That. that all political prisoners had been in danger. that not until long afterwards.A Tale of Two Cities IV Calm in Storm Doctor Manette did not return until the morning of the fourth day of his absence. when France and she were far apart. or to be 477 of 670 . that four days and nights had been darkened by this deed of horror. She only knew that there had been an attack upon the prisons. in the prison he had found a self-appointed Tribunal sitting. that the crowd had taken him through a scene of carnage to the prison of La Force. To Mr. Lorry. So much of what had happened in that dreadful time as could be kept from the knowledge of Lucie was so well concealed from her. the Doctor communicated under an injunction of secrecy on which he had no need to dwell. before which the prisoners were brought singly.

and had pleaded hard to the Tribunal—of whom some members were asleep and some awake. through the registers on the table. but. but should. That. immediately. That. the man sitting as President had then informed Doctor Manette that the prisoner must remain in custody. in the first frantic greetings lavished on himself as a notable sufferer under the overthrown system. had 478 of 670 . be held inviolate in safe custody. the prisoner was removed to the interior of the prison again. that his son-in-law was among the living prisoners. he had announced himself by name and profession as having been for eighteen years a secret and unaccused prisoner in the Bastille. That. he seemed on the point of being at once released.A Tale of Two Cities released. presented by his conductors to this Tribunal. and that this man was Defarge. some sober and some not—for his life and liberty. that he. or (in a few cases) to be sent back to their cells. for his sake. when the tide in his favour met with some unexplained check (not intelligible to the Doctor). the Doctor. that. That. some dirty with murder and some clean. and examined. That. which led to a few words of secret conference. on a signal. hereupon he had ascertained. one of the body so sitting in judgment had risen and identified him. That. it had been accorded to him to have Charles Darnay brought before the lawless Court.

they had helped the healer.A Tale of Two Cities then so strongly pleaded for permission to remain and assure himself that his son-in-law was. delivered to the concourse whose murderous yells outside the gate had often drowned the proceedings. who were seated on the bodies of their victims. The sights he had seen there. and tended the wounded man with the gentlest solicitude— had made a litter for him and escorted him carefully from the spot— had then caught up their weapons and plunged anew into a butchery so dreadful. had astounded him scarcely less than the mad ferocity against those who were cut to pieces. through no malice or mischance. Being besought to go to him and dress the wound. 479 of 670 . With an inconsistency as monstrous as anything in this awful nightmare. with brief snatches of food and sleep by intervals. One prisoner there was. but at whom a mistaken savage had thrust a pike as he passed out. that he had obtained the permission. he said. who had been discharged into the street free. The mad joy over the prisoners who were saved. and swooned away in the midst of it. and had remained in that Hall of Blood until the danger was over. shall remain untold. that the Doctor had covered his eyes with his hands. the Doctor had passed out at the same gate. and had found him in the arms of a company of Samaritans.

Greater things than the Doctor had at that time to contend with. For the first time he felt that in that sharp fire. that his suffering was strength and power. and then set going again with an energy which had lain dormant during the cessation of its usefulness. the resolute face. But. he believed. the calm strong look and bearing of the man whose life always seemed to him to have been stopped. ‘It all tended to a good end. For the first time the Doctor felt. As my beloved child was helpful in restoring me to myself. and deliver him. my friend. he had slowly forged the iron which could break the prison door of his daughter’s husband. Doctor Manette. And when Jarvis Lorry saw the kindled eyes. as a physician. 480 of 670 . and as he watched the face of his friend now sixty-two years of age. it was not mere waste and ruin. a misgiving arose within him that such dread experiences would revive the old danger. now. like a clock. by the aid of Heaven I will do it!’ Thus. While he kept himself in his place. he had never seen his friend in his present aspect: he had never at all known him in his present character. for so many years. would have yielded before his persevering purpose. I will be helpful now in restoring the dearest part of herself to her.A Tale of Two Cities As Mr. Lorry received these confidences.

deprivation. the sagacious Mr. but was mixed with the general body of prisoners. the wildest of all pointed at emigrants who were known to have made friends or permanent connections abroad. but he observed it as a curiosity. he saw her husband weekly. still. This new life of the Doctor’s was an anxious life. rich and poor. among the many wild suspicions of plots in the prisons. and among them of La Force. that he was soon the inspecting physician of three prisons. and weakness. sometimes her husband himself sent a letter to her (though never by the Doctor’s hand). and brought sweet messages to her. but she was not permitted to write to him: for. bad and good. it was a natural and worthy one. He could now assure Lucie that her husband was no longer confined alone.A Tale of Two Cities whose business was with all degrees of mankind. his imprisonment had been associated in the minds of his daughter and his friend. The Doctor knew. bond and free. Now that this was changed. no doubt. straight from his lips. Lorry saw that there was a new sustaining pride in it. he used his personal influence so wisely. and he knew himself to be invested through that old trial with forces to which they both looked for 481 of 670 . that up to that time. Nothing unbecoming tinged the pride. with his personal affliction.

or Death. under the bright sky 482 of 670 . as if the dragon’s teeth had been sown broadcast. ‘All curious to see. and keep it. Fraternity. on rock. rose from all the varying soils of France. the black flag waved night and day from the great towers of Notre Dame.’ But. the Republic of Liberty. and alluvial mud. to get Charles Darnay set at liberty. three hundred thousand men. ‘but all natural and right. Equality. summoned to rise against the tyrants of the earth. in gravel. yet only as the liveliest gratitude and affection could reverse them. for he could have had no pride but in rendering some service to her who had rendered so much to him.’ thought Mr. the king was tried. and had yielded fruit equally on hill and plain.A Tale of Two Cities Charles’s ultimate safety and deliverance. in his amiably shrewd way. and beheaded. my dear friend. the public current of the time set too strong and fast for him. The new era began. Lorry. that he took the lead and direction. to trust to him as the strong. it couldn’t be in better hands. The preceding relative positions of himself and Lucie were reversed. so. or at least to get him brought to trial. declared for victory or death against the world in arms. doomed. and required them as the weak. and never ceased trying. he became so far exalted by the change. though the Doctor tried hard. take the lead.

breaking the unnatural silence of a whole city. along the fruitful banks of the broad rivers. and the evening and morning were the first day. not opened! There was no pause.A Tale of Two Cities of the South and under the clouds of the North. which struck away 483 of 670 . as it is in the fever of one patient. no interval of relenting rest. in the vineyards and the olive-grounds and among the cropped grass and the stubble of the corn. it seemed almost in the same breath. and with the windows of Heaven shut. not falling from above. to turn it grey. the executioner showed the people the head of the king—and now. Now. And yet. A revolutionary tribunal in the capital. no peace. a law of the Suspected. the head of his fair wife which had had eight weary months of imprisoned widowhood and misery. in fell and forest. What private solicitude could rear itself against the deluge of the Year One of Liberty—the deluge rising from below. observing the strange law of contradiction which obtains in all such cases. and forty or fifty thousand revolutionary committees all over the land. Though days and nights circled as regularly as when time was young. while it flamed by so fast. Hold of it was lost in the raging fever of a nation. and in the sand of the sea-shore. no measurement of time. other count of time there was none. the time was long. no pity.

Models of it were worn on breasts from which the Cross was discarded. one hideous figure grew as familiar as if it had been before the general gaze from the foundations of the world—the figure of the sharp female called La Guillotine. it was the best cure for headache. it imparted a peculiar delicacy to the complexion. and delivered over any good and innocent person to any bad and guilty one. and seemed to be ancient usage before they were many weeks old. It was the popular theme for jests. It hushed the 484 of 670 . it infallibly prevented the hair from turning grey. prisons gorged with people who had committed no offence. were a rotten red. It was taken to pieces. that it. and could obtain no hearing. like a toy-puzzle for a young Devil. It was the sign of the regeneration of the human race. It superseded the Cross. and the ground it most polluted. looked through the little window and sneezed into the sack. It sheared off heads so many. it was the National Razor which shaved close: who kissed La Guillotine. Above all. and was put together again when the occasion wanted it.A Tale of Two Cities all security for liberty or life. these things became the established order and nature of appointed things. and it was bowed down to and believed in where the Cross was denied.

in as many minutes. and blinder. struck down the powerful. using his art equally among assassins 485 of 670 . abolished the beautiful and good. and carried the time away so fiercely. and prisoners were shot in lines and squares under the southern wintry sun. Among these terrors. never doubting that he would save Lucie’s husband at last. but. Silent. it had lopped the heads off. that the rivers of the South were encumbered with the bodies of the violently drowned by night. so strong and deep. Twenty-two friends of high public mark. no man in a stranger situation. that Charles had lain in prison one year and three months when the Doctor was thus steady and confident. in Paris at that day. Yet the current of the time swept by. twenty-one living and one dead. indispensable in hospital and prison. The name of the strong man of Old Scripture had descended to the chief functionary who worked it. and the brood belonging to them. No man better known than he. and tore away the gates of God’s own Temple every day. the Doctor walked among the terrors with a steady head. So much more wicked and distracted had the Revolution grown in that December month. he was stronger than his namesake. so armed. in one morning. Still. humane. the Doctor walked with a steady head: confident in his power. cautiously persistent in his end.A Tale of Two Cities eloquent.

486 of 670 . any more than if he had indeed been recalled to life some eighteen years before. the appearance and the story of the Bastille Captive removed him from all other men. He was not suspected or brought in question. he was a man apart. In the exercise of his skill. or were a Spirit moving among mortals.A Tale of Two Cities and victims.

but that the Guillotine would strike off her husband’s head next day. black-haired. youths. fraternity. gentle born and peasant born. through the stony streets. it would but have been with her as it was with many. as all the quietly loyal and good will always be. she had been true to her duties. Lovely girls. all red wine for La Guillotine. much the easiest to bestow. or death. and grey. had stunned the Doctor’s daughter into awaiting the result in idle despair. equality. and the whirling wheels of the time. from the hour when she had taken the white head to her fresh young bosom in the garret of Saint Antoine. She was truest to them in the season of trial.—the last. But. bright women. O Guillotine! If the suddenness of her calamity. from hour to hour. the tumbrils now jolted heavily. filled with Condemned. and carried to her through the streets to slake her devouring thirst. Liberty. stalwart men and old. brown-haired. Every day. all daily brought into light from the dark cellars of the loathsome prisons. During all that time Lucie was never sure. 487 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities V The Wood-Sawyer One year and three months.

The slight devices with which she cheated herself into the show of a belief that they would soon be reunited— the little preparations for his speedy return. at night on kissing her father. and the solemn prayer at night for one dear prisoner especially. which she and her child wore. she arranged the little household as exactly as if her husband had been there. and would say that her sole reliance. as regularly. and her father had entered on the routine of his avocations. He always 488 of 670 . She did not greatly alter in appearance. otherwise. she remained very pretty and comely. Everything had its appointed place and its appointed time. not an occasional. among the many unhappy souls in prison and the shadow of death—were almost the only outspoken reliefs of her heavy mind. Sometimes. were as neat and as well attended to as the brighter clothes of happy days. was on him. under Heaven. the setting aside of his chair and his books—these. she would burst into the grief she had repressed all day.A Tale of Two Cities As soon as they were established in their new residence. Little Lucie she taught. and the old and intent expression was a constant. The plain dark dresses. thing. akin to mourning dresses. as if they had all been united in their English home. She lost her colour.

’ They had not made the round of their changed life many weeks. there is an upper window in the prison. but. she never missed a single day. at other times she was alone. on coming home one evening: ‘My dear. if you stood in a certain place that I can show you. When it was not too wet or inclement for her child to be with her. in all weathers. she waited there two hours. and I will go there every day. Lucie. and at four she turned resignedly away. when her father said to her. The hovel of a cutter of wood into lengths for 489 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities resolutely answered: ‘Nothing can happen to him without my knowledge. and I know that I can save him. But you will not be able to see him. to which Charles can sometimes gain access at three in the afternoon.’ ‘O show me the place. he thinks.’ From that time. my poor child. When he can get to it—which depends on many uncertainties and incidents—he might see you in the street. it would be unsafe for you to make a sign of recognition. they went together. my father. As the clock struck two. she was there. and even if you could. It was the dark and dirty corner of a small winding street.

is it not. citizeness?’ ‘You see me. my little citizeness?’ 490 of 670 . among the more thorough patriots. pointed at the prison. ‘But it’s not my business.’ said he. ‘Walking here again.’ ‘Good day. citizen!’ The wood-sawyer. On the third day of her being there. citizen. ‘What? Walking here again. he noticed her. was the only house at that end. citizeness?’ ‘Yes. It had been established voluntarily some time ago.’ ‘Ah! A child too! Your mother. but. Next day he was looking out for her. all else was wall. citizeness. And went on sawing his wood. who was a little man with a redundancy of gesture (he had once been a mender of roads). peeped through them jocosely.A Tale of Two Cities burning.’ This mode of address was now prescribed by decree. ‘Good day. and accosted her the moment she appeared. cast a glance at the prison. citizen. and putting his ten fingers before his face to represent bars. was now law for everybody.

All the family!’ Lucie shuddered as he threw two more billets into his basket. drawing close to her.’ ‘Yes. ‘But 491 of 670 . pickle! And off ITS head comes. loo. la. dearest. mamma?’ whispered little Lucie. which he readily received.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Do I say yes. and in lifting her heart up to her husband. and sometimes when she had quite forgotten him in gazing at the prison roof and grates. La. My work is my business. loo! And off HER head comes! Now.’ ‘Ah! But it’s not my business. He was an inquisitive fellow. citizen. a child. loo. Loo. and often gave him drink-money. to secure his good will. La. with his knee on his bench and his saw stopped in its work. but it was impossible to be there while the woodsawyer was at work. la. See my saw! I call it my Little Guillotine. loo. Thenceforth. Pickle. tickle. ‘Yes. See here again! Loo. Tickle. la. she always spoke to him first. ‘I call myself the Samson of the firewood guillotine. and he threw it into a basket. la! And off his head comes!’ The billet fell as he spoke. and not be in his sight. she would come to herself to find him looking at her.

Liberty. decorated with little pikes. Fraternity. seven days a week. and on that possibility she would have waited out the day. and would briskly fall to his sawing again. wherein her father walked among the terrors with a steady head. It was a day of some wild rejoicing. These occupations brought her round to the December month. It was enough that he could and did see her when the chances served. or Death! 492 of 670 . and a festival.A Tale of Two Cities it’s not my business!’ he would generally say at those times. Lucie passed two hours of every day at this place. she kissed the prison wall. in the rains of autumn. also. Republic One and Indivisible. and again in the snow and frost of winter. On a lightly-snowing afternoon she arrived at the usual corner. in the hot sunshine of summer. with tricoloured ribbons. in the bitter winds of spring. In all weathers. in the snow and frost of winter. as she came along. She had seen the houses. and every day on leaving it. Equality. also. with the standard inscription (tricoloured letters were the favourite). and with little red caps stuck upon them. Her husband saw her (so she learned from her father) it might be once in five or six times: it might be twice or thrice running: it might be. not for a week or a fortnight together.

and in a window he had stationed his saw inscribed as his ‘Little Sainte Guillotine’— for the great sharp female was by that time popularly canonised. they were a mere storm of coarse red caps and coarse woollen rags. men danced together. and a throng of people came pouring round the corner by the prison wall. who had squeezed Death in with most inappropriate difficulty. He had got somebody to scrawl it up for him. which was a relief to Lucie. and they were dancing like five thousand demons. that its whole surface furnished very indifferent space for this legend. On his house-top. A moment afterwards. His shop was shut and he was not there. There was no other music than their own singing. he was not far off. They danced to the popular Revolution song. but. as hazard had brought them together. as they filled 493 of 670 . There could not be fewer than five hundred people. as a good citizen must. Men and women danced together. But. however. for presently she heard a troubled movement and a shouting coming along. At first. he displayed pike and cap. in the midst of whom was the wood-sawyer hand in hand with The Vengeance. which filled her with fear.A Tale of Two Cities The miserable shop of the wood-sawyer was so small. keeping a ferocious time that was like a gnashing of teeth in unison. women danced together. and left her quite alone.

and steeling the heart. formed into lines the width of the public way. and stopped to dance about Lucie. were types of the disjointed time. Suddenly they stopped again. some ghastly apparition of a dance-figure gone raving mad arose among them. and. bewildering the senses. paused. struck. the pretty almost-child’s head thus distracted. clutched at one another’s heads. and all spun round together: then the ring broke. spun round alone. clutched. until many of them dropped. swooped screaming off. 494 of 670 . the rest linked hand in hand. and in separate rings of two and four they turned and turned until they all stopped at once. The maidenly bosom bared to this. showing how warped and perverted all things good by nature were become.A Tale of Two Cities the place. and all spun round another way. delivered over to all devilry—a healthy pastime changed into a means of angering the blood. and tore. It was so emphatically a fallen sport—a something. No fight could have been half so terrible as this dance. and then reversed the spin. struck out the time afresh. While those were down. once innocent. They advanced. caught one another and spun round in pairs. the delicate foot mincing in this slough of blood and dirt. struck at one another’s hands. with their heads low down and their hands high up. made it the uglier. retreated. began again. Such grace as was visible in it.

‘O my father!’ for he stood before her when she lifted up the eyes she had momentarily darkened with her hand. You may kiss your hand towards that highest shelving roof. like a shadow over the white road. I know.’ from the Doctor. my father. There is no one here to see. ‘such a cruel.’ A footstep in the snow.A Tale of Two Cities This was the Carmagnole. yearning and weeping as she kissed her hand. I left him climbing to the window. and I came to tell you. Madame Defarge gone. ‘no. citizeness. ‘I salute you. Madame Defarge.’ This in passing. my poor dear?’ ‘No. I have seen it many times. ‘I salute you.’ said Lucie. my dear. But when I think of my husband. father. leaving Lucie frightened and bewildered in the doorway of the woodsawyer’s house.’ ‘I am not frightened for myself. As it passed. and the mercies of these people—‘ ‘We will set him above their mercies very soon. father. citizen. and I send him my Soul with it!’ ‘You cannot see him.’ ‘I know. Don’t be frightened! Not one of them would harm you. the feathery snow fell as quietly and lay as white and soft. bad sight.’ ‘I do so. Nothing more. as if it had never been. 495 of 670 .

that could not be taken until he was actually summoned before the Tribunal.’ they had left the spot. and removed to the Conciergerie. Pass from here with an air of cheerfulness and courage. 496 of 670 . Three tumbrils faring away with their dread loads over the hushing snow. I must see Lorry.’ He stopped. my darling. I have encompassed him with every protection. but there are precautions to be taken. You are not afraid?’ She could scarcely answer. ‘I trust in you. implicitly. Two. Charles is summoned for to-morrow. ‘it shall not be in vain. There was a heavy lumbering of wheels within hearing. I am well prepared.’ ‘For to-morrow!’ ‘There is no time to lose. for his sake. he shall be restored to you within a few hours.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Give me your arm. but I know that he will presently be summoned for to-morrow.’ ‘Do so. He has not received the notice yet. Your suspense is nearly ended. my love. That was well done. I have timely information. turning her another way. ‘I must see Lorry.’ the Doctor repeated. One. They both knew too well what it meant. Three.

to take his favourite in his arms? To whom did he appear to repeat her faltering words. Liberty.A Tale of Two Cities The staunch old gentleman was still in his trust. or Death! Who could that be with Mr. Lorry—the owner of the riding-coat upon the chair—who must not be seen? From whom newly arrived. and to hold his peace. It was almost dark when they arrived at the Bank. denoted the approach of darkness. had never left it. he saved. What he could save for the owners. he said: ‘Removed to the Conciergerie. agitated and surprised. Equality. and summoned for to-morrow?’ 497 of 670 . He and his books were in frequent requisition as to property confiscated and made national. Republic One and Indivisible. raising his voice and turning his head towards the door of the room from which he had issued. No better man living to hold fast by what Tellson’s had in keeping. The stately residence of Monseigneur was altogether blighted and deserted. ran the letters: National Property. when. did he come out. Fraternity. Above a heap of dust and ashes in the court. A murky red and yellow sky. and a rising mist from the Seine.

for one of the prisoners so summoned had died in gaol and been forgotten. its owner stepped apart into a spot reserved for those who were announced as being thus fatally recorded. and went through the list. Charles Evremonde. The list was 498 of 670 . and were read out by the gaolers of the various prisons to their prisoners. making a similar short pause at each name. Their lists went forth every evening. called Darnay. but only twenty were responded to. he had seen hundreds pass away so. who wore spectacles to read with. sat every day.A Tale of Two Cities VI Triumph The dread tribunal of five Judges. called Darnay!’ So at last began the Evening Paper at La Force. When a name was called. ‘Come out and listen to the Evening Paper. There were twenty-three names. and determined Jury. you inside there!’ ‘Charles Evremonde. His bloated gaoler. glanced over them to assure himself that he had taken his place. had reason to know the usage. Public Prosecutor. and two had already been guillotined and forgotten. The standard gaoler-joke was.

when the common rooms and corridors would be delivered over to the great dogs who kept watch there through the night. The prisoners were far from insensible or unfeeling. Similarly. without doubt. known. was not mere boastfulness. And all of us have like wonders 499 of 670 . They crowded to the grates and shed tears there. every human creature he had since cared for and parted with. and the society of La Force were engaged in the preparation of some games of forfeits and a little concert.A Tale of Two Cities read. but. and the time was. twenty places in the projected entertainments had to be refilled. a species of fervour or intoxication. had died on the scaffold. in the vaulted chamber where Darnay had seen the associated prisoners on the night of his arrival. There were hurried words of farewell and kindness. Every one of those had perished in the massacre. their ways arose out of the condition of the time. It was the incident of every day. for that evening. and to die by it. In seasons of pestilence. to have led some persons to brave the guillotine unnecessarily. though with a subtle difference. but a wild infection of the wildly shaken public mind. some of us will have a secret attraction to the disease— a terrible passing inclination to die of it. at best. short to the lock-up hour. but the parting was soon over.

applauding. some daggers. were the directing spirits of the scene: noisily commenting. Among these last.A Tale of Two Cities hidden in our breasts. only needing circumstances to evoke them. Of the men. The passage to the Conciergerie was short and dark. fifteen prisoners were put to the bar before Charles Darnay’s name was called. ‘Charles Evremonde. never without its quantity of low. without a check. All the fifteen were condemned.’ was at length arraigned. many knitted. Looking at the Jury and the turbulent audience. called Darnay. with a spare piece of knitting under her arm 500 of 670 . but the rough red cap and tricoloured cockade was the headdress otherwise prevailing. and the trials of the whole occupied an hour and a half. cruel. and bad. the greater part were armed in various ways. cruelest. anticipating. some wore knives. His judges sat upon the Bench in feathered hats. and that the felons were trying the honest men. disapproving. and precipitating the result. the night in its vermin-haunted cells was long and cold. was one. he might have thought that the usual order of things was reversed. some ate and drank as they looked on. The lowest. and worst populace of a city. of the women. Next day.

and that she seemed to be his wife. There he was. and had not assumed the coarse garb of the Carmagnole. they never looked towards him. he had been taken in France. unconnected with the Tribunal. It was nothing that the decree bore date since his return to France. and there was the decree. under the decree which banished all emigrants on pain of Death. As well as the prisoner could see. and they looked at the Jury. by the side of a man whom he had never seen since his arrival at the Barrier. but at nothing else. Charles Evremonde. what he most noticed in the two figures was. and his head was demanded. called Darnay.A Tale of Two Cities as she worked. She was in a front row. in his usual quiet dress. ‘Take off his head!’ cried the audience. whose life was forfeit to the Republic. They seemed to be waiting for something with a dogged determination. He noticed that she once or twice whispered in his ear. he and Mr. who wore their usual clothes. but whom he directly remembered as Defarge. was accused by the public prosecutor as an emigrant. that although they were posted as close to himself as they could be. Lorry were the only men there. but. ‘An enemy to the Republic!’ 501 of 670 . Under the President sat Doctor Manette.

A Tale of Two Cities The President rang his bell to silence those cries. and Alexandre Manette. Because he had voluntarily relinquished a title that was distasteful to him. and asked the prisoner whether it was not true that he had lived many years in England? Undoubtedly it was. By birth. Theophile Gabelle. and had left his country—he submitted before the word emigrant in the present acceptation by the Tribunal was in use—to live by his own industry in England. but not an English woman. True. A citizeness of France? Yes. Her name and family? 502 of 670 . What proof had he of this? He handed in the names of two witnesses. rather than on the industry of the overladen people of France. and a station that was distasteful to him. Was he not an emigrant then? What did he call himself? Not an emigrant. Why not? the President desired to know. he hoped. But he had married in England? the President reminded him. within the sense and spirit of the law.

simply because he had no means of living in France. and not sooner? He had not returned sooner. as if with impatience to pluck him out into the streets and kill him. why had he returned to France when he did. Cries in exaltation of the well-known good physician rent the hall.’ This answer had a happy effect upon the audience. He had come back. only daughter of Doctor Manette. and to bear his testimony. On these few steps of his dangerous way. The President asked. at whatever 503 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities ‘Lucie Manette. He had returned when he did. in England. who represented that his life was endangered by his absence. the good physician who sits there. So capriciously were the people moved. he lived by giving instruction in the French language and literature. that tears immediately rolled down several ferocious countenances which had been glaring at the prisoner a moment before. to save a citizen’s life. save those he had resigned. whereas. he replied. and had prepared every inch of his road. on the pressing and written entreaty of a French citizen. The same cautious counsel directed every step that lay before him. Charles Darnay had set his foot according to Doctor Manette’s reiterated instructions.

to the truth. he had been slightly overlooked in his prison of the Abbaye—in fact. The accused explained that the citizen was his first witness. ‘No!’ and the President rang his bell to quiet them. The Doctor had taken care that it should be there—had assured him that it would be there—and at this stage of the proceedings it was produced and read. and did so.A Tale of Two Cities personal hazard. for they continued to cry ‘No!’ until they left off. had rather passed out of the Tribunal’s patriotic remembrance—until three days ago. and had been set at liberty on the Jury’s declaring themselves satisfied that the accusation 504 of 670 . The President required the name of that citizen. which had been taken from him at the Barrier. Citizen Gabelle was called to confirm it. Was that criminal in the eyes of the Republic? The populace cried enthusiastically. when he had been summoned before it. but which he did not doubt would be found among the papers then before the President. that in the pressure of business imposed on the Tribunal by the multitude of enemies of the Republic with which it had to deal. with infinite delicacy and politeness. He also referred with confidence to the citizen’s letter. Which it did not. of their own will. Citizen Gabelle hinted.

as the foe of England and friend of the United States—as he brought these circumstances into view. the populace set up a shout of applause. as he proceeded. made a great impression. like himself. At every vote (the Jurymen voted aloud and individually). as he showed that the Accused was his first friend on his release from his long imprisonment. At last. so far from being in favour with the Aristocrat government there. called Darnay. the Jury declared that they had heard enough. the Jury and the populace became one. when he appealed by name to Monsieur Lorry. and that they were ready with their votes if the President were content to receive them. His high personal popularity. but. he had actually been tried for his life by it. had been a witness on that English trial and could corroborate his account of it. and the clearness of his answers. always faithful and devoted to his daughter and himself in their exile. Doctor Manette was next questioned. by the surrender of the citizen Evremonde. All 505 of 670 . as to himself. who. an English gentleman then and there present. that.A Tale of Two Cities against him was answered. with the greatest discretion and with the straightforward force of truth and earnestness. the accused had remained in England. that.

that after his long and unwholesome confinement he was in danger of fainting from exhaustion. His removal. to rend him to pieces and strew him over the streets. carried by another current. forasmuch as they had not assisted it by word or deed. to make way for other accused persons who were to be tried. and the President declared him free. or which they regarded as some set-off against their swollen account of cruel rage. or their better impulses towards generosity and mercy. No sooner was the acquittal pronounced. to a blending of all the three. than tears were shed as freely as blood at another time. Then. rescued him from these caresses for the moment. No man can decide now to which of these motives such extraordinary scenes were referable. with the second predominating.A Tale of Two Cities the voices were in the prisoner’s favour. would have rushed at him with the very same intensity. began one of those extraordinary scenes with which the populace sometimes gratified their fickleness. Five were to be tried together. next. So quick was the Tribunal to 506 of 670 . and such fraternal embraces were bestowed upon the prisoner by as many of both sexes as could rush at him. it is probable. as enemies of the Republic. that the very same people. none the less because he knew very well.

Over the chair they had thrown a red flag. no audience to lengthen their proceedings. and to the back of it they had bound a pike with a red cap on its top. it is true. with a confused sea of red caps heaving about him. They put him into a great chair they had among them. The first of them told him so. for when he and Doctor Manette emerged from the gate. and casting up to sight 507 of 670 . there was a great crowd about it. or one of its rooms or passages. seemed to run mad. not even the Doctor’s entreaties could prevent his being carried to his home on men’s shoulders. embracing. all by turns and all together. the concourse made at him anew. in which there seemed to be every face he had seen in Court—except two. and shouting. that these five came down to him before he left the place. until the very tide of the river on the bank of which the mad scene was acted. In this car of triumph.A Tale of Two Cities compensate itself and the nation for a chance lost. and which they had taken either out of the Court itself. On his coming out. condemned to die within twenty-four hours. weeping. like the people on the shore. with the customary prison sign of Death—a raised finger—and they all added in words. for which he looked in vain. ‘Long live the Republic!’ The five had had.

Her father had gone on before. to prepare her.A Tale of Two Cities from the stormy deep such wrecks of faces. they carried him thus into the courtyard of the building where he lived. and that he was in the tumbril on his way to the Guillotine. In wild dreamlike procession. so that his tears and her lips might come together unseen. a few of the people fell to dancing. in winding and tramping through them. Then. and over the bridge. As he held her to his heart and turned her beautiful head between his face and the brawling crowd. Reddening the snowy streets with the prevailing Republican colour. that he more than once misdoubted his mind being in confusion. and along the river’s bank. and when her husband stood upon his feet. and the courtyard overflowed with the Carmagnole. the Carmagnole absorbed them every one and whirled them away. all the rest fell to dancing. and then swelling and overflowing out into the adjacent streets. they carried him on. they elevated into the vacant chair a young woman from the crowd to be carried as the Goddess of Liberty. as they had reddened them below the snow with a deeper dye. she dropped insensible in his arms. embracing whom they met and pointing him out. Instantly. 508 of 670 .

he took his wife in his arms. When she was again in his arms. as she had laid his poor head on her own breast. after grasping the hand of Mr. ‘don’t tremble so. Lorry. he was recompensed for his suffering. ‘Lucie! My own! I am safe. let me thank God for this on my knees as I have prayed to Him. long ago.’ She laid her head upon her father’s breast. who was lifted up to clasp her arms round his neck.’ 509 of 670 .’ ‘O dearest Charles. He was happy in the return he had made her. he said to her: ‘And now speak to your father. No other man in all this France could have done what he has done for me. as he stood victorious and proud before him. I have saved him. and after embracing the ever zealous and faithful Pross who lifted her. long.A Tale of Two Cities After grasping the Doctor’s hand. my darling. dearest. ‘You must not be weak.’ They all reverently bowed their heads and hearts. and carried her up to their rooms. who came panting in breathless from his struggle against the waterspout of the Carmagnole.’ he remonstrated. after kissing little Lucie. he was proud of his strength.

cheering her. it was so impossible to forget that many as blameless as her husband and as dear to others as he was to her. no One 510 of 670 . which was wonderful to see. showed a compassionate superiority to this woman’s weakness. every day shared the fate from which he had been clutched. All the air round was so thick and dark.’ It was not another of the dreams in which he had often come back.A Tale of Two Cities VII A Knock at the Door ‘I have saved him. Her mind pursued them. The shadows of the wintry afternoon were beginning to fall. looking for him among the Condemned. he was really here. No garret. no shoemaking. that her heart could not be as lightened of its load as she felt it ought to be. and then she clung closer to his real presence and trembled more. Her father. the people were so passionately revengeful and fitful. and a vague but heavy fear was upon her. And yet his wife trembled. the innocent were so constantly put to death on vague suspicion and black malice. and even now the dreadful carts were rolling through the streets.

as the afternoon shadows deepened. at a certain convenient height from the ground.A Tale of Two Cities Hundred and Five. rendered them occasional service. the name of every inmate must be legibly inscribed in letters of a certain size. North Tower. or Death. and had his bed there every night. Partly on this account. Equality. and Charles. and partly to avoid a domestic spy. they kept no servant. It was an ordinance of the Republic One and Indivisible of Liberty. involving the least offence to the people. and for his guard. had had to pay heavily for his bad food. Let them all lean upon him. the owner of that name himself appeared. Lorry) had become their daily retainer. his promise was redeemed. therefore. Fraternity. from overlooking a painter whom 511 of 670 . Mr. duly embellished the doorpost down below. Jerry Cruncher’s name. now! He had accomplished the task he had set himself. that on the door or doorpost of every house. the citizen and citizeness who acted as porters at the courtyard gate. but because they were not rich. Their housekeeping was of a very frugal kind: not only because that was the safest way of life. throughout his imprisonment. and. and Jerry (almost wholly transferred to them by Mr. and towards the living of the poorer prisoners. he had saved Charles.

Although Miss Pross. if it happened not to be the name 512 of 670 . the former carrying the money. the basket. she had no mind in that direction. consequently she knew no more of that ‘nonsense’ (as she was pleased to call it) than Mr. and made and brought home such purchases as were needful. Cruncher did. as in very many others. and. Cruncher had discharged the office of purveyors. and to give as little occasion as possible for talk and envy.A Tale of Two Cities Doctor Manette had employed to add to the list the name of Charles Evremonde. Miss Pross and Mr. the latter. they fared forth on this duty. called Darnay. In the universal fear and distrust that darkened the time. In the Doctor’s little household. might have known as much of their language as of her own. if she had had a mind. To avoid attracting notice. all the usual harmless ways of life were changed. in small quantities and at various small shops. the articles of daily consumption that were wanted were purchased every evening. So her manner of marketing was to plump a noun-substantive at the head of a shopkeeper without any introduction in the nature of an article. was the general desire. through her long association with a French family. For some months past. Every afternoon at about the time when the public lamps were lighted.

‘and we shall have a precious time of it.’ ‘Ha!’ said Miss Pross. whatever his number might be. as a statement of its just price. and it’s Midnight Murder. He had worn all his rust off long ago.’ said Miss Pross. ‘if you are ready. and hold on by it until the bargain was concluded. with some diffidence. miss. Mr. ‘whether they drink your health or the Old Un’s. to look round for that thing. but nothing would file his spiky head down. Mr. I am. pray.’ said Miss Pross. and Mischief. She always made a bargain for it.’ ‘Hush. They have but one. be cautious!’ cried Lucie. dear! Pray. ‘There’s all manner of things wanted. Cruncher.’ Jerry hoarsely professed himself at Miss Pross’s service. whose eyes were red with felicity.A Tale of Two Cities of the thing she wanted.’ retorted Jerry.’ ‘It will be much the same to your knowledge. one finger less than the merchant held up. by holding up.’ ‘Who’s he?’ said Miss Pross. 513 of 670 . Cruncher. among the rest. Nice toasts these Redheads will be drinking. lay hold of it. explained himself as meaning ‘Old Nick’s. We want wine. ‘Now. ‘it doesn’t need an interpreter to explain the meaning of these creatures. I should think. wherever we buy it.

Now. Cruncher. Doctor Manette. ‘For gracious sake. never you stir from that fire till I come back! Take care of the dear husband you have recovered.’ said Miss Pross. going on in the streets. growlingly repeated the words after Miss Pross. 514 of 670 . ‘Well. ‘the short and the long of it is. before I go?’ ‘I think you may take that liberty. God save the King!’ Mr. Frustrate their knavish tricks. yes.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Yes. smiling. Ladybird. that I do hope there will be no oniony and tobaccoey smotherings in the form of embracings all round. don’t talk about Liberty. On him our hopes we fix. that I am a subject of His Most Gracious Majesty King George the Third.’ said Miss Pross. till you see me again! May I ask a question. my maxim is. my sweet. nodding her head emphatically. and don’t move your pretty head from his shoulder as you have it now.’ said Miss Pross. yes. ‘but I may say among ourselves. we have quite enough of that. I’ll be cautious. dear! Again?’ Lucie remonstrated. ‘and as such. Confound their politics.’ the Doctor answered.’ Miss Pross curtseyed at the name. in an access of loyalty. ‘Hush. like somebody at church.

and to come at it in this chance manner— ‘is there any prospect yet. Is there’—it was the good creature’s way to affect to make light of anything that was a great anxiety with them all. Now. Mr. in a tone not rising much above a whisper. cheerfully repressing a sigh as she glanced at her darling’s golden hair in the light of the fire.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I am glad you have so much of the Englishman in you. It would be dangerous for Charles yet. Mr. began to tell her a story of a great and powerful Fairy who had opened a prison-wall and let out a captive 515 of 670 . ‘But the question. Miss Pross had lighted the lamp.’ ‘Heigh-ho-hum!’ said Miss Pross. Ladybird!’ They went out. leaving Lucie. but had put it aside in a corner. that they might enjoy the fire-light undisturbed. approvingly. and the child. of our getting out of this place?’ ‘I fear not yet. as my brother Solomon used to say.’ said Miss Pross. Cruncher!— Don’t you move. her father. ‘then we must have patience and wait: that’s all. Little Lucie sat by her grandfather with her hands clasped through his arm: and he. by a bright fire. Lorry was expected back presently from the Banking House. and her husband. Doctor Manette. though I wish you had never taken that cold in your voice. We must hold up our heads and fight low.

What a disordered state you are in! The least thing—nothing— startles you! YOU.’ ‘My love.’ said Lucie. and four rough men in red caps. rising. All was subdued and quiet. and laying his hand upon her shoulder. 516 of 670 . and opened it. ‘that I heard strange feet upon the stairs. father. called Darnay.A Tale of Two Cities who had once done the Fairy a service. ‘I HAVE saved him. ‘What is that?’ she cried.’ said the Doctor. ‘My dear!’ said her father.’ As he said the word. armed with sabres and pistols. and laying his hand on hers. all at once. crossed the two intervening outer rooms. a blow was struck upon the door. ‘Who seeks him?’ answered Darnay. stopping in his story. the staircase is as still as Death. ‘command yourself. my father. ‘The Citizen Evremonde. your father’s daughter!’ ‘I thought. ‘Oh father. A rude clattering of feet over the floor. with a pale face and in a faltering voice.’ He took the lamp in his hand. my dear! Let me go to the door. excusing herself. and Lucie was more at ease than she had been.’ said the first. Save him!’ ‘My child. What can this be! Hide Charles. entered the room. What weakness is this.

‘Tell me how and why am I again a prisoner?’ ‘It is enough that you return straight to the Conciergerie. by the loose front of his red woollen shirt. and will know to-morrow.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I seek him.’ Doctor Manette. You are summoned for to-morrow. where he stood with his wife and child clinging to him. Citizen Doctor.’ The four surrounded him. I know you.’ said the other three. Evremonde. whom this visitation had so turned into stone. Citizen Doctor. We seek him. that be stood with the lamp in his hand. and taking him. you have said. put the lamp down. moved after these words were spoken. I know you. He looked abstractedly from one to another. said: ‘You know him. after a pause: ‘Will you answer his question to me then? How does this happen?’ 517 of 670 . and confronting the speaker.’ ‘We all know you. as if be woe a statue made to hold it. in a lower voice. You are again the prisoner of the Republic. I saw you before the Tribunal to-day. and said. Do you know me?’ ‘Yes. not ungently.

without doubt you as a good patriot will be happy to make them. ‘is from Saint Antoine. ‘he has been denounced to the Section of Saint Antoine.’ the Doctor entreated.’ answered the first. If the Republic demands sacrifices from you. with his former reluctance. The Republic goes before all.’ ‘What other?’ ‘Do YOU ask. And by one other.’ said the first. This citizen. and added: ‘He is accused by Saint Antoine. The People is supreme. But he is denounced— and gravely—by the Citizen and Citizeness Defarge. Evremonde. ‘Citizen Doctor.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Citizen Doctor. and at length said: ‘Well! Truly it is against rule. rubbed his beard a little.’ ‘Of what?’ asked the Doctor.’ The Doctor turned his eyes upon that man. we are pressed. reluctantly. Citizen Doctor?’ 518 of 670 .’ pointing out the second who had entered.’ said the first. Who moved uneasily on his feet. ‘but you can ask Him of Saint Antoine here. ‘Will you tell me who denounced him?’ ‘It is against rule. ‘ask no more.’ The citizen here indicated nodded his head.’ ‘One word.

with a strange look.’ ‘Then. Now.’ said he of Saint Antoine.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Yes. ‘you will be answered to-morrow. I am dumb!’ 519 of 670 .

It was a raw evening. They both looked to the right and to the left into most of the shops they passed. and the misty river. After peeping into several wine520 of 670 . or got undeserved promotion in it! Better for him that his beard had never grown. showed where the barges were stationed in which the smiths worked.A Tale of Two Cities VIII A Hand at Cards Happily unconscious of the new calamity at home. Having purchased a few small articles of grocery. walked at her side. and turned out of their road to avoid any very excited group of talkers. and a measure of oil for the lamp. for the National Razor shaved him close. with the basket. Cruncher. making guns for the Army of the Republic. Mr. Miss Pross threaded her way along the narrow streets and crossed the river by the bridge of the Pont-Neuf. blurred to the eye with blazing lights and to the ear with harsh noises. reckoning in her mind the number of indispensable purchases she had to make. Woe to the man who played tricks with THAT Army. had a wary eye for all gregarious assemblages of people. Miss Pross bethought herself of the wine they wanted.

of the one bare. In going. and clapped her hands. It had a quieter look than any other place of the same description they had passed. 521 of 670 . a man parted from another man in a corner. like slumbering bears or dogs. though red with patriotic caps. the two outlandish customers approached the counter. or laid aside to be resumed.A Tale of Two Cities shops. and showed what they wanted. attended by her cavalier. playing with limp cards and yellow dominoes. and finding him of her opinion. was not so red as the rest. not far from the National Palace. and. Sounding Mr. and rose to depart. who in the popular high-shouldered shaggy black spencer looked. of the weapons worn. Miss Pross resorted to the Good Republican Brutus of Antiquity.breasted. sootbegrimed workman reading a journal aloud. No sooner did he face her. she stopped at the sign of the Good Republican Brutus of Antiquity. than Miss Pross uttered a scream. and of the others listening to him. in that attitude. Slightly observant of the smoky lights. As their wine was measuring out. he had to face Miss Pross. of the two or three customers fallen forward asleep. of the people. once (and twice) the Tuileries. where the aspect of things rather took her fancy. Cruncher. pipe in mouth. bare-armed.

Cruncher—though it seemed on his own separate and individual account—was in a state of the greatest wonder. but. by the disciples of the Good Republican Brutus of Antiquity. though they had been all ears. ‘After not setting eyes upon you or hearing of you for so long a time. Mr. But. do I find you here!’ 522 of 670 . What was said in this disappointing anti-climax. the whole company were on their feet. evidently English. speaking in a vexed. That somebody was assassinated by somebody vindicating a difference of opinion was the likeliest occurrence. ‘Oh. clapping her hands again. and in English. they had no ears for anything in their surprise. Solomon. but only saw a man and a woman standing staring at each other. abrupt voice (though in a low tone). dear Solomon!’ cried Miss Pross. For. the woman. it must be recorded. would have been as so much Hebrew or Chaldean to Miss Pross and her protector.A Tale of Two Cities In a moment. the man with all the outward aspect of a Frenchman and a thorough Republican. Everybody looked to see somebody fall. that not only was Miss Pross lost in amazement and agitation. ‘What is the matter?’ said the man who had caused Miss Pross to scream. except that it was something very voluble and loud.

and come out. Who’s this man?’ Miss Pross. brother!’ cried Miss Pross.’ ‘Let him come out too. ‘Now.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Don’t call me Solomon. said through her tears. ‘Mr. ‘and come out.’ said Solomon. and offered a few words of explanation in the French language. however. Cruncher did. and Miss Pross. if you want to speak to me.’ said Solomon. Pay for your wine. ‘what do you want?’ 523 of 670 . bursting into tears. Solomon turned to the followers of the Good Republican Brutus of Antiquity. Do you want to be the death of me?’ asked the man. in a furtive. Cruncher. to judge from his looks. stopping at the dark street corner. which caused them all to relapse into their former places and pursuits. exploring the depths of her reticule through her tears with great difficulty paid for her wine. shaking her loving and dejected head at her by no means affectionate brother. He said not a word. ‘Brother. ‘Have I ever been so hard with you that you ask me such a cruel question?’ ‘Then hold your meddlesome tongue. frightened way. ‘Does he think me a ghost?’ Apparently. As she did so. Mr.’ said Solomon.

If you really don’t want to endanger my existence—which I half believe you do—go your ways as soon as possible. by my own sister. dear 524 of 670 . I shall be rendered Suspected. making a dab at Miss Pross’s lips with his own.’ said her brother Solomon. ‘If you expect me to be surprised. an official among foreigners. and such foreigners! I would almost sooner have seen the dear boy lying in his—‘ ‘I said so!’ cried her brother. ‘I knew it. I knew you were here.’ mourned Miss Pross. ‘Now are you content?’ Miss Pross only shook her head and wept in silence. ‘to give me such a greeting. I am an official. I know of most people who are here. and let me go mine.’ ‘My English brother Solomon.’ said Solomon. casting up her tear-fraught eyes. and show me no affection. You want to be the death of me. interrupting.’ ‘There.A Tale of Two Cities ‘How dreadfully unkind in a brother nothing has ever turned my love away from!’ cried Miss Pross. I am busy. Just as I am getting on!’ ‘The gracious and merciful Heavens forbid!’ cried Miss Pross. ‘Far rather would I never see you again. ‘I am not surprised. ‘that had the makings in him of one of the best and greatest of men in his native country. Confound it! There.

and ever shall.A Tale of Two Cities Solomon. though I have ever loved you truly. Cruncher. by the way. touching him on the shoulder.’ Good Miss Pross! As if the estrangement between them had come of any culpability of hers. was more than he could do himself. and she must know. years ago. hoarsely and unexpectedly interposed with the following singular question: ‘I say! Might I ask the favour? As to whether your name is John Solomon. As if Mr. being your sister.’ (Which. Cruncher. ‘Come!’ said Mr. in the quiet corner in Soho. you know. that this precious brother had spent her money and left her! He was saying the affectionate word. with a far more grudging condescension and patronage than he could have shown if their relative merits and positions had been reversed (which is invariably the case. or Solomon John? She calls you Solomon. when Mr.) ‘John Solomon. however. Say but one affectionate word to me. or Solomon John?’ The official turned towards him with sudden distrust. and I will detain you no longer. ‘Speak out. And I know you’re 525 of 670 . and tell me there is nothing angry or estranged between us. all the world over). He had not previously uttered a word. Lorry had not known it for a fact.

or unless I could be useful. I arrived at Mr.’ ‘Indeed?’ ‘Yes. in the name of the Father of Lies. yesterday evening. for I can’t call to mind what your name was. my dear Miss Pross.’ ‘No?’ ‘No. Lorry’s. was Sydney Carton. The speaker who struck in. I wish you had a better 526 of 670 . ‘Don’t be alarmed. you know. Which of the two goes first? And regarding that name of Pross.A Tale of Two Cities John. You was a spy— witness at the Bailey. That warn’t your name over the water. to beg a little talk with your brother.’ said another voice.’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Well. He had his hands behind him under the skirts of his ridingcoat. ‘That’s the name for a thousand pound!’ cried Jerry. T’other one’s was one syllable. I know you. and he stood at Mr. But I’ll swear it was a name of two syllables. Cruncher’s elbow as negligently as he might have stood at the Old Bailey itself. What. to his surprise. I present myself here. we agreed that I would not present myself elsewhere until all was well. own father to yourself. I don’t know all I mean. was you called at that time?’ ‘Barsad. striking in. likewise. over the water.

The spy. Could you favour me.’ Sheep was a cant word of the time for a spy. ‘It would be troublesome. I walked in your direction. and sat near you. and I remember faces well.’ said Sydney. the nature of your calling. what I had done at random. close after you. an hour or more ago. to which you are no stranger. Made curious by seeing you in that connection. And gradually. for associating you with the misfortunes of a friend now very unfortunate. and having a reason. I had no difficulty in deducing from your unreserved conversation. for instance?’ 527 of 670 . Barsad was not a Sheep of the Prisons. and asked him how he dared— ‘I’ll tell you. You have a face to be remembered. seemed to shape itself into a purpose.’ ‘What purpose?’ the spy asked. Mr. Barsad. I wish for your sake Mr. who was pale. Barsad.A Tale of Two Cities employed brother than Mr. to explain in the street. with some minutes of your company—at the office of Tellson’s Bank. in confidence. Barsad. turned paler. I walked into the wine-shop here. ‘I lighted on you. under the gaolers. Mr. and the rumour openly going about among your admirers. coming out of the prison of the Conciergerie while I was contemplating the walls. and might be dangerous.

Let me take your arm. ‘You apprehend me very clearly. ‘Now. But for my great respect for your sister.’ ‘Come. it’s your doing. ‘if any trouble comes of this. Do you go with me to the Bank?’ ‘I’ll hear what you have got to say. Miss 528 of 670 . and with such a man as he had to do with. Mr. His practised eye saw it. Mr.’ Carton’s negligent recklessness of manner came powerfully in aid of his quickness and skill. I can’t say. come.’ said the spy.’ ‘Do you mean that you won’t say. I’ll go with you. casting a reproachful look at his sister. Barsad. I might not have led up so pleasantly to a little proposal that I wish to make for our mutual satisfaction. and made the most of it.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Under a threat?’ ‘Oh! Did I say that?’ ‘Then. in such a business as he had in his secret mind. I told you so. Yes. Barsad. Barsad!’ exclaimed Sydney. why should I go there?’ ‘Really. I won’t. if you can’t. sir?’ the spy irresolutely asked.’ ‘I propose that we first conduct your sister safely to the corner of her own street. Mr. ‘Don’t be ungrateful.

She was too much occupied then with fears for the brother who so little deserved her affection. now a good many years ago. Lorry’s. who had looked into the red coals at the Royal George at Dover. and Carton led the way to Mr. He turned his head as they entered. at this time. walked at his side. and as your escort knows Mr. there was a braced purpose in the arm and a kind of inspiration in the eyes. I will invite him to Mr. and to the end of her life remembered. for you to be out in.A Tale of Two Cities Pross. Lorry had just finished his dinner. imploring him to do no hurt to Solomon. which was within a few minutes’ walk. Barsad. but changed and raised the man. or Solomon Pross. 529 of 670 . This is not a good city. which not only contradicted his light manner. and was sitting before a cheery little log or two of fire—perhaps looking into their blaze for the picture of that younger elderly gentleman from Tellson’s. Are we ready? Come then!’ Miss Pross recalled soon afterwards. Lorry’s with us. that as she pressed her hands on Sydney’s arm and looked up in his face. John Barsad. Mr. They left her at the corner of the street. unprotected. and with Sydney’s friendly reassurances. adequately to heed what she observed. and showed the surprise with which he saw a stranger.

coolly.’ Mr. He left the messengers at the 530 of 670 . by saying to him with a frown. I pass to worse news. When was it done. ‘Witness at that trial. Barsad. Barsad has been recognised by Miss Pross as the affectionate brother you have heard of.’ said Sydney. he supplied the link that Mr. Mr.’ observed Carton. Lorry wanted. ‘Pray sit down.’ Struck with consternation. that the arrest has taken place. Barsad. and regarded his new visitor with an undisguised look of abhorrence. ‘and has acknowledged the relationship. Barsad?’ ‘Just now.’ said Sydney.’ ‘I told you you had a remarkable face. ‘Mr. ‘What do you tell me! I left him safe and free within these two hours. Barsad is the best authority possible. the old gentleman exclaimed.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Miss Pross’s brother.’ ‘Barsad?’ repeated the old gentleman. sir. ‘Barsad? I have an association with the name—and with the face.’ As he took a chair himself. Barsad’s communication to a friend and brother Sheep over a bottle of wine. ‘and I have it from Mr.’ said Sydney. Lorry immediately remembered. sir. if at all. ‘Mr. Mr. and am about to return to him!’ ‘Arrested for all that.’ ‘Mr. Darnay has been arrested again.

But it may not be so.’ ‘—In as good stead to-morrow as to-day.A Tale of Two Cities gate. ‘Now. and his troubled eyes on Carton. I trust.’ ‘That’s true.’ Mr. I am shaken.’ Mr. ‘that the name and influence of Doctor Manette may stand him in as good stead to-morrow—you said he would be before the Tribunal again to-morrow. ‘In short. ‘But that very circumstance would be alarming. by Doctor Manette’s not having had the power to prevent this arrest. Barsad?—‘ ‘Yes. and saw them admitted by the porter.’ ‘He may not have known of it beforehand. Mr. Lorry. Confused. Let the 531 of 670 . Mr. Lorry. Lorry’s business eye read in the speaker’s face that it was loss of time to dwell upon the point.’ said Sydney. Lorry acknowledged. he commanded himself. and was silently attentive. I believe so. There is no earthly doubt that he is retaken. but sensible that something might depend on his presence of mind. ‘this is a desperate time. when we remember how identified he is with his son-in-law.’ said Sydney to him. when desperate games are played for desperate stakes.’ said Mr. with his troubled hand at his chin. I own to you.

was formerly in the employ of the aristocratic English government. ‘Mr. No man’s life here is worth purchase. emissary of Republican committees. represents himself to his employers under a false name.A Tale of Two Cities Doctor play the winning game. Barsad. Any one carried home by the people to-day. I will play the losing one.’ ‘You need have good cards. the enemy of France and freedom. you know what a brute I am. That’s an 532 of 670 . now turnkey. ‘I’ll run them over. And the friend I purpose to myself to win. I wish you’d give me a little brandy. may be condemned tomorrow. the stake I have resolved to play for.—Mr. so much the more valuable here for being English that an Englishman is less open to suspicion of subornation in those characters than a Frenchman. That’s a very good card. Barsad. Now. Lorry. sir. always spy and secret informer. in case of the worst. now prisoner. and he drank off a glassful— drank off another glassful—pushed the bottle thoughtfully away.’ It was put before him. is a friend in the Conciergerie. I’ll see what I hold. Mr. now in the employ of the republican French government. is Mr. in the tone of one who really was looking over a hand at cards: ‘Sheep of the prisons.’ said the spy. Barsad.’ he went on.

A Tale of Two Cities excellent card. Have you followed my hand. our English reasons for 533 of 670 . somewhat uneasily. still in the pay of the aristocratic English government. Barsad saw losing cards in it that Sydney Carton knew nothing of.’ returned the spy. he poured out and drank another glassful. Mr. and see what you have. Mr. Barsad. through too much unsuccessful hard swearing there—not because he was not wanted there. is the spy of Pitt.’ It was a poorer hand than he suspected. Look over your hand. Seeing it. Take time. That’s a card not to be beaten. poured out another glassful of brandy. and drank it off. Mr. Mr. Don’t hurry. Barsad. Denunciation of Mr. Barsad?’ ‘Not to understand your play. Thrown out of his honourable employment in England. that Mr. Inference clear as day in this region of suspicion. the English traitor and agent of all mischief so much spoken of and so difficult to find. Barsad to the nearest Section Committee. ‘I play my Ace. Barsad. the treacherous foe of the Republic crouching in its bosom. He saw that the spy was fearful of his drinking himself into a fit state for the immediate denunciation of him. ‘Look over your hand carefully.’ He drew the bottle near.

over and over again produce her knitted registers. that he was never safe. and accepted service in France: first. that he was tied fast under the shadow of the axe. as a tempter and an eavesdropper among the natives. and had looked ominously at him as her fingers moved. had received from the watchful police such heads of information concerning Doctor Manette’s imprisonment.A Tale of Two Cities vaunting our superiority to secrecy and spies are of very modern date—he knew that he had crossed the Channel. He knew that under the overthrown government he had been a spy upon Saint Antoine and Defarge’s wine-shop. that flight was impossible. release. and history. in the Section of Saint Antoine. that that terrible woman had knitted when he talked with her. and tried them on Madame Defarge. and denounce people whose lives the guillotine then surely swallowed up. and had broken down with them signally. a word might bring it down upon him. Once 534 of 670 . and that in spite of his utmost tergiversation and treachery in furtherance of the reigning terror. as a tempter and an eavesdropper among his own countrymen there: gradually. He always remembered with fear and trembling. as should serve him for an introduction to familiar conversation with the Defarges. as every one employed as he was did. He had since seen her. He knew.

so much your junior. ‘I may appeal to a gentleman of your years and benevolence.’ said the spy. and looking at his watch. taking the answer on himself. whether he can under any circumstances reconcile it to his station to play that Ace of which he has spoken. Lorry. here were surely cards enough of one black suit.’ said Sydney. Barsad. ‘You scarcely seem to like your hand.’ said Carton. and that it is considered a discreditable station—though it must be filled by somebody. with the greatest composure. to justify the holder in growing rather livid as he turned them over. sir. in a very few minutes.A Tale of Two Cities denounced. I admit that I am a spy. Besides that all secret men are men soon terrified. and would quash his last chance of life.’ 535 of 670 . ‘Do you play?’ ‘I think. ‘without any scruple. Mr. as he turned to Mr. and on such grave grounds as had just now been suggested to his mind. but this gentleman is no spy. and why should he so demean himself as to make himself one?’ ‘I play my Ace. in the meanest manner. would produce against him that fatal register. he foresaw that the dreadful woman of whose unrelenting character he had seen many proofs. to put it to this other gentleman.

‘Well. who spoke of himself as pasturing in the country prisons. musing.—that it faltered here and failed him. quickly. and probably with his usual demeanour. resuming his former air of contemplating cards: ‘And indeed. You don’t know him.’ 536 of 670 .’ said the spy. now I think again. ‘You think not. Carton said.’ said the spy. While he was at a loss. curiously in dissonance with his ostentatiously rough dress. eh?’ repeated Carton. That friend and fellow-Sheep. he may be.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I should have hoped.’ The smooth manner of the spy. gentlemen both. ‘French. ‘that your respect for my sister—‘ ‘I could not better testify my respect for your sister than by finally relieving her of her brother. sir?’ ‘I have thoroughly made up my mind about it.—who was a mystery to wiser and honester men than he. though he echoed his word. I have a strong impression that I have another good card here. not yet enumerated. received such a check from the inscrutability of Carton. Lorry into the discussion. and not appearing to notice him at all. who was he?’ ‘French.’ said Sydney Carton. always striving to hook Mr.

‘It-can’t-be. Foreign!’ cried Carton. Spoke good French. but the same man. I thought?’ ‘Provincial. It can’t be. in the same mechanical way—‘though it’s not important—No.’ said Barsad. sir. at this distance of time.’ ‘I think not. retrospectively. No.’ said the spy. I attended him in his last illness.’ said the spy. His unpopularity with the blackguard multitude at the 537 of 670 . I am sure not. ‘No. ‘though it’s not important. Cly (who I will unreservedly admit. ‘Cly! Disguised. there you are hasty.’ ‘Now. I assure you.’ repeated Carton. at the church of Saint Pancras-in-the-Fields. as a light broke clearly on his mind. and idling his glass (which fortunately was a small one) again.’ muttered Sydney Carton. with a smile that gave his aquiline nose an extra inclination to one side.’ ‘Though it’s not important. ‘there you really give me an advantage over you. Yet I know the face. was a partner of mine) has been dead several years. We had that man before us at the Old Bailey. Yet like a foreigner.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Is. ‘Can’t-be. striking his open hand on the table. He was buried in London.’ said the spy. it’s not important.

it’s no forgery. from where he sat. 538 of 670 . I will lay before you a certificate of Cly’s burial.’ with a hurried hand he produced and opened it. but I helped to lay him in his coffin. Cruncher rose and stepped forward. of a most remarkable goblin shadow on the wall. Mr.’ Here. To show you how mistaken you are. and touched him on the shoulder like a ghostly bailiff.A Tale of Two Cities moment prevented my following his remains. Cruncher stood at his side. Unseen by the spy. Mr. Cruncher’s head. look at it. he discovered it to be caused by a sudden extraordinary rising and stiffening of all the risen and stiff hair on Mr. ‘ever since. Lorry perceived the reflection on the wall to elongate. Mr. look at it! You may take it in your hand. and Mr. Tracing it to its source. and what an unfounded assumption yours is. Lorry became aware.’ said the spy.’ Here. There it is. ‘and let us be fair. ‘Let us be reasonable. if it had been that moment dressed by the Cow with the crumpled horn in the house that Jack built. which I happened to have carried in my pocket-book. Oh. His hair could not have been more violently on end.

is it. if he was ever in it. ‘What do you mean?’ ‘I mean. ‘So YOU put him in his coffin?’ ‘I did. Me and two more knows it. Cruncher to moderate and explain himself. master. with a taciturn and iron-bound visage.’ said Mr. who. Cruncher. No! Not he! I’ll have my head took off.A Tale of Two Cities ‘That there Roger Cly. ‘that he warn’t never in it. with your shameful impositions upon tradesmen! I’d catch hold of your throat and choke you for half a guinea. 539 of 670 . Cruncher.’ Sydney Carton. here requested Mr. with Mr. Cruncher.’ said Jerry. they both looked in unspeakable astonishment at Jerry. It was a take in. Don’t go and tell me that you buried Cly. ‘it’s you I have got a old grudge again. had been lost in amazement at this turn of the business.’ The spy looked round at the two gentlemen.’ said Mr. ‘I tell you. and stammered.’ ‘How do you know it?’ ‘What’s that to you? Ecod!’ growled Mr. ‘that you buried paving-stones and earth in that there coffin.’ ‘Who took him out of it?’ Barsad leaned back in his chair. Lorry.

‘I hold another card. here in raging Paris. Though how this man knows it was a sham. evasively.’ ‘Humph! I see one thing. that I only got away from England at the risk of being ducked to death. when you are in communication with another aristocratic spy of the same antecedents as yourself. in so much as a word of one syllable. ‘the present time is ill-conwenient for explainin’. What I stand to. A strong card—a certain Guillotine card! Do you play?’ ‘No!’ returned the spy. moreover. Barsad. Let him say he was. is a wonder of wonders to me. that he never would have got away at all but for that sham.’ he returned. sir. of the foreigner against the Republic. and that Cly was so ferreted up and down.’ 540 of 670 . I confess that we were so unpopular with the outrageous mob. Mr. is. with Suspicion filling the air. that he knows well wot that there Cly was never in that there coffin. ‘I throw up. for you to outlive denunciation. and I’ll either catch hold of his throat and choke him for half a guinea. who. Impossible. Cruncher dwelt upon this as quite a liberal offer.’ Mr. has the mystery about him of having feigned death and come to life again! A plot in the prisons.A Tale of Two Cities ‘At another time. ‘or I’ll out and announce him.’ said Carton.

In short. and I can swear my way through stone walls. ‘you’ll have trouble enough with giving your attention to that gentleman. I go on duty soon. what do you want with me?’ ‘Not very much. Cruncher could not be restrained from making rather an ostentatious parade of his liberality—‘I’d catch hold of your throat and choke you for half a guinea. You are a turnkey at the Conciergerie?’ ‘I tell you once for all. what is it? Now. Cruncher. firmly. ‘It has come to a point. it is of no use asking too much of me. And look here! Once more!’— Mr. We are all desperate here. Ask me to do anything in my office.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Never you trouble your head about this man. and can’t overstay my time. Remember! I may denounce you if I think proper.’ The Sheep of the prisons turned from him to Sydney Carton. and said. Now. there is no such thing as an escape possible. putting my head in great extra danger. I should make that choice. You talk of desperation. with more decision. and I had better trust my life to the chances of a refusal than the chances of consent.’ said the spy. 541 of 670 . and so can others.’ retorted the contentious Mr. You told me you had a proposal.

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‘Why need you tell me what I have not asked? You are a turnkey at the Conciergerie?’ ‘I am sometimes.’ ‘You can be when you choose?’ ‘I can pass in and out when I choose.’ Sydney Carton filled another glass with brandy, poured it slowly out upon the hearth, and watched it as it dropped. It being all spent, he said, rising: ‘So far, we have spoken before these two, because it was as well that the merits of the cards should not rest solely between you and me. Come into the dark room here, and let us have one final word alone.’

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IX The Game Made
While Sydney Carton and the Sheep of the prisons were in the adjoining dark room, speaking so low that not a sound was heard, Mr. Lorry looked at Jerry in considerable doubt and mistrust. That honest tradesman’s manner of receiving the look, did not inspire confidence; he changed the leg on which he rested, as often as if he had fifty of those limbs, and were trying them all; he examined his finger-nails with a very questionable closeness of attention; and whenever Mr. Lorry’s eye caught his, he was taken with that peculiar kind of short cough requiring the hollow of a hand before it, which is seldom, if ever, known to be an infirmity attendant on perfect openness of character. ‘Jerry,’ said Mr. Lorry. ‘Come here.’ Mr. Cruncher came forward sideways, with one of his shoulders in advance of him. ‘What have you been, besides a messenger?’ After some cogitation, accompanied with an intent look at his patron, Mr. Cruncher conceived the luminous idea of replying, ‘Agicultooral character.’ 543 of 670

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‘My mind misgives me much,’ said Mr. Lorry, angrily shaking a forefinger at him, ‘that you have used the respectable and great house of Tellson’s as a blind, and that you have had an unlawful occupation of an infamous description. If you have, don’t expect me to befriend you when you get back to England. If you have, don’t expect me to keep your secret. Tellson’s shall not be imposed upon.’ ‘I hope, sir,’ pleaded the abashed Mr. Cruncher, ‘that a gentleman like yourself wot I’ve had the honour of odd jobbing till I’m grey at it, would think twice about harming of me, even if it wos so—I don’t say it is, but even if it wos. And which it is to be took into account that if it wos, it wouldn’t, even then, be all o’ one side. There’d be two sides to it. There might be medical doctors at the present hour, a picking up their guineas where a honest tradesman don’t pick up his fardens— fardens! no, nor yet his half fardens— half fardens! no, nor yet his quarter—a banking away like smoke at Tellson’s, and a cocking their medical eyes at that tradesman on the sly, a going in and going out to their own carriages—ah! equally like smoke, if not more so. Well, that ‘ud be imposing, too, on Tellson’s. For you cannot sarse the goose and not the gander. And here’s Mrs. Cruncher, or 544 of 670

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leastways wos in the Old England times, and would be tomorrow, if cause given, a floppin’ again the business to that degree as is ruinating—stark ruinating! Whereas them medical doctors’ wives don’t flop—catch ‘em at it! Or, if they flop, their toppings goes in favour of more patients, and how can you rightly have one without t’other? Then, wot with undertakers, and wot with parish clerks, and wot with sextons, and wot with private watchmen (all awaricious and all in it), a man wouldn’t get much by it, even if it wos so. And wot little a man did get, would never prosper with him, Mr. Lorry. He’d never have no good of it; he’d want all along to be out of the line, if he, could see his way out, being once in— even if it wos so.’ ‘Ugh!’ cried Mr. Lorry, rather relenting, nevertheless, ‘I am shocked at the sight of you.’ ‘Now, what I would humbly offer to you, sir,’ pursued Mr. Cruncher, ‘even if it wos so, which I don’t say it is—‘ ‘Don’t prevaricate,’ said Mr. Lorry. ‘No, I will NOT, sir,’ returned Mr. Crunches as if nothing were further from his thoughts or practice— ‘which I don’t say it is—wot I would humbly offer to you, sir, would be this. Upon that there stool, at that there Bar, sets that there boy of mine, brought up and growed up to be a man, wot will errand you, message you, general545 of 670

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light-job you, till your heels is where your head is, if such should be your wishes. If it wos so, which I still don’t say it is (for I will not prewaricate to you, sir), let that there boy keep his father’s place, and take care of his mother; don’t blow upon that boy’s father—do not do it, sir—and let that father go into the line of the reg’lar diggin’, and make amends for what he would have undug—if it wos so-by diggin’ of ‘em in with a will, and with conwictions respectin’ the futur’ keepin’ of ‘em safe. That, Mr. Lorry,’ said Mr. Cruncher, wiping his forehead with his arm, as an announcement that he had arrived at the peroration of his discourse, ‘is wot I would respectfully offer to you, sir. A man don’t see all this here a goin’ on dreadful round him, in the way of Subjects without heads, dear me, plentiful enough fur to bring the price down to porterage and hardly that, without havin’ his serious thoughts of things. And these here would be mine, if it wos so, entreatin’ of you fur to bear in mind that wot I said just now, I up and said in the good cause when I might have kep’ it back.’ ‘That at least is true, said Mr. Lorry. ‘Say no more now. It may be that I shall yet stand your friend, if you deserve it, and repent in action—not in words. I want no more words.’

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Mr. Cruncher knuckled his forehead, as Sydney Carton and the spy returned from the dark room. ‘Adieu, Mr. Barsad,’ said the former; ‘our arrangement thus made, you have nothing to fear from me.’ He sat down in a chair on the hearth, over against Mr. Lorry. When they were alone, Mr. Lorry asked him what he had done? ‘Not much. If it should go ill with the prisoner, I have ensured access to him, once.’ Mr. Lorry’s countenance fell. ‘It is all I could do,’ said Carton. ‘To propose too much, would be to put this man’s head under the axe, and, as he himself said, nothing worse could happen to him if he were denounced. It was obviously the weakness of the position. There is no help for it.’ ‘But access to him,’ said Mr. Lorry, ‘if it should go ill before the Tribunal, will not save him.’ ‘I never said it would.’ Mr. Lorry’s eyes gradually sought the fire; his sympathy with his darling, and the heavy disappointment of his second arrest, gradually weakened them; he was an old man now, overborne with anxiety of late, and his tears fell.

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‘You are a good man and a true friend,’ said Carton, in an altered voice. ‘Forgive me if I notice that you are affected. I could not see my father weep, and sit by, careless. And I could not respect your sorrow more, if you were my father. You are free from that misfortune, however.’ Though he said the last words, with a slip into his usual manner, there was a true feeling and respect both in his tone and in his touch, that Mr. Lorry, who had never seen the better side of him, was wholly unprepared for. He gave him his hand, and Carton gently pressed it. ‘To return to poor Darnay,’ said Carton. ‘Don’t tell Her of this interview, or this arrangement. It would not enable Her to go to see him. She might think it was contrived, in case of the worse, to convey to him the means of anticipating the sentence.’ Mr. Lorry had not thought of that, and he looked quickly at Carton to see if it were in his mind. It seemed to be; he returned the look, and evidently understood it. ‘She might think a thousand things,’ Carton said, ‘and any of them would only add to her trouble. Don’t speak of me to her. As I said to you when I first came, I had better not see her. I can put my hand out, to do any little helpful work for her that my hand can find to do, without 548 of 670

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that. You are going to her, I hope? She must be very desolate to-night.’ ‘I am going now, directly.’ ‘I am glad of that. She has such a strong attachment to you and reliance on you. How does she look?’ ‘Anxious and unhappy, but very beautiful.’ ‘Ah!’ It was a long, grieving sound, like a sigh—almost like a sob. It attracted Mr. Lorry’s eyes to Carton’s face, which was turned to the fire. A light, or a shade (the old gentleman could not have said which), passed from it as swiftly as a change will sweep over a hill-side on a wild bright day, and he lifted his foot to put back one of the little flaming logs, which was tumbling forward. He wore the white riding-coat and top-boots, then in vogue, and the light of the fire touching their light surfaces made him look very pale, with his long brown hair, all untrimmed, hanging loose about him. His indifference to fire was sufficiently remarkable to elicit a word of remonstrance from Mr. Lorry; his boot was still upon the hot embers of the flaming log, when it had broken under the weight of his foot. ‘I forgot it,’ he said.

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Mr. Lorry’s eyes were again attracted to his face. Taking note of the wasted air which clouded the naturally handsome features, and having the expression of prisoners’ faces fresh in his mind, he was strongly reminded of that expression. ‘And your duties here have drawn to an end, sir?’ said Carton, turning to him. ‘Yes. As I was telling you last night when Lucie came in so unexpectedly, I have at length done all that I can do here. I hoped to have left them in perfect safety, and then to have quitted Paris. I have my Leave to Pass. I was ready to go.’ They were both silent. ‘Yours is a long life to look back upon, sir?’ said Carton, wistfully. ‘I am in my seventy-eighth year.’ ‘You have been useful all your life; steadily and constantly occupied; trusted, respected, and looked up to?’ ‘I have been a man of business, ever since I have been a man. indeed, I may say that I was a man of business when a boy.’ ‘See what a place you fill at seventy-eight. How many people will miss you when you leave it empty!’

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‘A solitary old bachelor,’ answered Mr. Lorry, shaking his head. ‘There is nobody to weep for me.’ ‘How can you say that? Wouldn’t She weep for you? Wouldn’t her child?’ ‘Yes, yes, thank God. I didn’t quite mean what I said.’ ‘It IS a thing to thank God for; is it not?’ ‘Surely, surely.’ ‘If you could say, with truth, to your own solitary heart, to-night, ‘I have secured to myself the love and attachment, the gratitude or respect, of no human creature; I have won myself a tender place in no regard; I have done nothing good or serviceable to be remembered by!’ your seventy-eight years would be seventy-eight heavy curses; would they not?’ ‘You say truly, Mr. Carton; I think they would be.’ Sydney turned his eyes again upon the fire, and, after a silence of a few moments, said: ‘I should like to ask you:—Does your childhood seem far off? Do the days when you sat at your mother’s knee, seem days of very long ago?’ Responding to his softened manner, Mr. Lorry answered: ‘Twenty years back, yes; at this time of my life, no. For, as I draw closer and closer to the end, I travel in the 551 of 670

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circle, nearer and nearer to the beginning. It seems to be one of the kind smoothings and preparings of the way. My heart is touched now, by many remembrances that had long fallen asleep, of my pretty young mother (and I so old!), and by many associations of the days when what we call the World was not so real with me, and my faults were not confirmed in me.’ ‘I understand the feeling!’ exclaimed Carton, with a bright flush. ‘And you are the better for it?’ ‘I hope so.’ Carton terminated the conversation here, by rising to help him on with his outer coat; ‘But you,’ said Mr. Lorry, reverting to the theme, ‘you are young.’ ‘Yes,’ said Carton. ‘I am not old, but my young way was never the way to age. Enough of me.’ ‘And of me, I am sure,’ said Mr. Lorry. ‘Are you going out?’ ‘I’ll walk with you to her gate. You know my vagabond and restless habits. If I should prowl about the streets a long time, don’t be uneasy; I shall reappear in the morning. You go to the Court to-morrow?’ ‘Yes, unhappily.’ ‘I shall be there, but only as one of the crowd. My Spy will find a place for me. Take my arm, sir.’ 552 of 670

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Mr. Lorry did so, and they went down-stairs and out in the streets. A few minutes brought them to Mr. Lorry’s destination. Carton left him there; but lingered at a little distance, and turned back to the gate again when it was shut, and touched it. He had heard of her going to the prison every day. ‘She came out here,’ he said, looking about him, ‘turned this way, must have trod on these stones often. Let me follow in her steps.’ It was ten o’clock at night when he stood before the prison of La Force, where she had stood hundreds of times. A little wood-sawyer, having closed his shop, was smoking his pipe at his shop-door. ‘Good night, citizen,’ said Sydney Carton, pausing in going by; for, the man eyed him inquisitively. ‘Good night, citizen.’ ‘How goes the Republic?’ ‘You mean the Guillotine. Not ill. Sixty-three to-day. We shall mount to a hundred soon. Samson and his men complain sometimes, of being exhausted. Ha, ha, ha! He is so droll, that Samson. Such a Barber!’ ‘Do you often go to see him—‘ ‘Shave? Always. Every day. What a barber! You have seen him at work?’ ‘Never.’ 553 of 670

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‘Go and see him when he has a good batch. Figure this to yourself, citizen; he shaved the sixty-three to-day, in less than two pipes! Less than two pipes. Word of honour!’ As the grinning little man held out the pipe he was smoking, to explain how he timed the executioner, Carton was so sensible of a rising desire to strike the life out of him, that he turned away. ‘But you are not English,’ said the wood-sawyer, ‘though you wear English dress?’ ‘Yes,’ said Carton, pausing again, and answering over his shoulder. ‘You speak like a Frenchman.’ ‘I am an old student here.’ ‘Aha, a perfect Frenchman! Good night, Englishman.’ ‘Good night, citizen.’ ‘But go and see that droll dog,’ the little man persisted, calling after him. ‘And take a pipe with you!’ Sydney had not gone far out of sight, when he stopped in the middle of the street under a glimmering lamp, and wrote with his pencil on a scrap of paper. Then, traversing with the decided step of one who remembered the way well, several dark and dirty streets—much dirtier than usual, for the best public thoroughfares remained uncleansed in those times of terror—he stopped at a 554 of 670

’ said he. I can’t sleep. 555 of 670 . counted out the money for them. by a small. citizen?’ ‘For me. dim. Giving this citizen. but who at length struck into his road and saw its end. which the owner was closing with his own hands.’ ‘You will be careful to keep them separate. citizen? You know the consequences of mixing them?’ ‘Perfectly. good night. ‘There is nothing more to do. glancing upward at the moon. ‘Hi! hi! hi!’ Sydney Carton took no heed. nor was it more expressive of negligence than defiance. and deliberately left the shop. too. uphill thoroughfare. A small. It was the settled manner of a tired man. He put them. ‘until to-morrow. in the breast of his inner coat. and the chemist said: ‘For you. kept in a tortuous. he laid the scrap of paper before him. dim. one by one.’ It was not a reckless manner.’ Certain small packets were made and given to him. crooked man.A Tale of Two Cities chemist’s shop. as he confronted him at his counter. as he read it. the manner in which he said these words aloud under the fast-sailing clouds. ‘Whew!’ the chemist whistled softly. crooked shop. who had wandered and struggled and got lost.

but repeated them and went on. shall never die. With a solemn interest in the lighted windows where the people were going to rest. alone at night. might have been easily found. He did not seek it. with natural sorrow rising in him for the sixty-three who had been that day put to death. These solemn words. plunderers. years before. ‘I am the resurrection and the life. for the popular revulsion had even travelled that length of selfdestruction from years of priestly impostors. 556 of 670 .’ In a city dominated by the axe. and still of tomorrow’s and to-morrow’s. though he were dead. arose in his mind as he went down the dark streets. yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me. saith the Lord: he that believeth in me. forgetful through a few calm hours of the horrors surrounding them. in the towers of the churches. and for to-morrow’s victims then awaiting their doom in the prisons. like a rusty old ship’s anchor from the deep. with the moon and the clouds sailing on high above him. which had been read at his father’s grave. he had followed his father to the grave. when he had been famous among his earliest competitors as a youth of great promise.A Tale of Two Cities Long ago. His mother had died. among the heavy shadows. the chain of association that brought the words home. where no prayers were said.

though he were dead. that no sorrowful story of a haunting Spirit ever arose among the people out of all the working of the Guillotine. and the people poured cheerfully out as he passed. Few coaches were abroad. there was a little girl with a mother. in the abounding gaols.A Tale of Two Cities and profligates. the theatres were all well filled. the timid arm was loosed from his neck asked her for a kiss. and trudged. and in the streets along which the sixties rolled to a death which had become so common and material. and went chatting home.’ 557 of 670 . shall never die. Sydney Carton crossed the Seine again for the lighter streets. But. reserved. as they wrote upon the gates. with a solemn interest in the whole life and death of the city settling down to its short nightly pause in fury. and before. for Eternal Sleep. and gentility hid its head in red nightcaps. At one of the theatre doors. for riders in coaches were liable to be suspected. looking for a way across the street through the mud. ‘I am the resurrection and the life. and put on heavy shoes. He carried the child over. saith the Lord: he that believeth in me. yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me. in the distant burial-places.

where the picturesque confusion of houses and cathedral shone bright in the light of the moon. seemed to strike those words. the day came coldly. but. he heard them always. and for a little while it seemed as if Creation were delivered over to Death’s dominion. He walked by the stream. he lingered there yet a little longer. straight and warm to his heart in its long bright rays. Then. he sometimes repeated them to himself as he walked. The night wore out. But. And looking along them. When he awoke and was afoot again. The strong tide. that the streets were quiet. Perfectly calm and steady. with the moon and the stars. and certain. while the river sparkled under it. so deep. so swift. far from the houses. with reverently shaded eyes. the words were in the echoes of his feet. and were in the air. looking like a dead face out of the sky. and in the light and warmth of the sun fell asleep on the bank. the glorious sun. that burden of the night. and the night wore on. and. a bridge of light appeared to span the air between him and the sun. rising. turned pale and died. was like a congenial friend. the night. as he stood upon the bridge listening to the water as it splashed the river-walls of the Island of Paris. in the morning stillness.A Tale of Two Cities Now. watching an eddy that turned and turned 558 of 670 .

so encouraging. that it called the healthy blood into his face. The court was all astir and a-buzz. Lorry was already out when he got back. If there had been any eyes to notice the influence of her look. having washed and changed to refresh himself. so full of admiring love and pitying tenderness. on 559 of 670 . the prayer that had broken up out of his heart for a merciful consideration of all his poor blindnesses and errors.’ A trading-boat. yet so courageous for his sake. and carried it on to the sea. When her husband was brought in. with a sail of the softened colour of a dead leaf. Lorry was there. floated by him. and died away. and it was easy to surmise where the good old man was gone. As its silent track in the water disappeared.A Tale of Two Cities purposeless. until the stream absorbed it. when the black sheep—whom many fell away from in dread—pressed him into an obscure corner among the crowd. then glided into his view. and Doctor Manette was there. Sydney Carton drank nothing but a little coffee. so sustaining. ended in the words. Mr. sitting beside her father. she turned a look upon him. ate some bread.’ Mr. and. brightened his glance. She was there.—‘Like me. went out to the place of trial. ‘I am the resurrection and the life. and animated his heart.

No favourable leaning in that quarter to-day. that the suicidal vengeance of the Revolution was to scatter them all to the winds. Before that unjust Tribunal. A fell. cannibal-looking. Every eye then turned to the five judges and the public prosecutor. and gleamed at it approvingly. Eager and prominent among them. A lifethirsting. the Jacques Three of St. forms. Every eye was turned to the jury. murderous business-meaning there. Every eye then sought some other eye in the crowd. if all laws. The whole jury. and ceremonies. whose appearance gave great satisfaction to the spectators. bloody-minded juryman. Antoine. as a jury of dogs empannelled to try the deer. there was little or no order of procedure.A Tale of Two Cities Sydney Carton. ensuring to any accused person any reasonable hearing. one man with a craving face. it would have been seen to be the same influence exactly. had not first been so monstrously abused. and heads nodded 560 of 670 . uncompromising. and to-morrow and the day after. There could have been no such Revolution. and his fingers perpetually hovering about his lips. The same determined patriots and good republicans as yesterday and the day before.

for that they had used their abolished privileges to the infamous oppression of the people. Released yesterday. called Darnay. Charles Evremonde. Indictment delivered to him last night. absolutely Dead in Law. The President asked. called Darnay. the Public Prosecutor.’ ‘Good. Charles Evremonde.’ ‘By whom?’ ‘Three voices. To this effect. before bending forward with a strained attention. one of a family of tyrants. in right of such proscription.A Tale of Two Cities at one another. one of a race proscribed. Aristocrat. Ernest Defarge. physician. was the Accused openly denounced or secretly? ‘Openly. in as few or fewer words. Reaccused and retaken yesterday. Suspected and Denounced enemy of the Republic. his wife. President. wine-vendor of St.’ ‘Alexandre Manette.’ ‘Therese Defarge.’ 561 of 670 . Antoine.’ ‘Good.

his daughter drew closer to him. and with warmth resumed. standing where he had been seated.A Tale of Two Cities A great uproar took place in the court. ‘President. be silent!’ Frantic acclamations were again raised. be tranquil. pale and trembling. Doctor Manette was seen. ‘If the Republic should demand of you the sacrifice of your child herself. and his lips trembling. Who and where is the false conspirator who says that I denounce the husband of my child!’ ‘Citizen Manette. To fail in submission to the authority of the Tribunal would be to put yourself out of Law. are far dearer to me than my life. The craving man on the jury rubbed his hands together. with his eyes looking around. Doctor Manette sat down. you would have no duty but to sacrifice her. and those dear to her.’ Loud acclamations hailed this rebuke. My daughter. nothing can be so dear to a good citizen as the Republic. and restored the usual hand to his mouth. The President rang his bell. You know the accused to be the husband of my daughter. I indignantly protest to you that this is a forgery and a fraud. and in the midst of it. In the meanwhile. Listen to what is to follow. As to what is dearer to you than life. 562 of 670 .

amidst the warm commendations of the audience. when the court was quiet enough to admit of his being heard. and rapidly expounded the story of the imprisonment. Why not say so? You were a cannoneer that day there. The Vengeance. This short examination followed.’ Here. citizen. for the court was quick with its work. and of the release. and you were among the first to enter the accursed fortress when it fell. I speak the truth!’ It was The Vengeance who. shrieked. an excited woman screeched from the crowd: ‘You were one of the best patriots there. warming with encouragement. The President rang his bell.A Tale of Two Cities Defarge was produced. citizen?’ ‘I believe so. and of the state of the prisoner when released and delivered to him. but. Patriots. ‘I defy that bell!’ wherein she was likewise much commended.’ 563 of 670 . and of his having been a mere boy in the Doctor’s service. ‘Inform the Tribunal of what you did that day within the Bastille. thus assisted the proceedings. ‘You did good service at the taking of the Bastille.

Madame Defarge never taking hers from the prisoner. I knew it from himself. North Tower. directed by a gaoler. This is the writing of Doctor Manette. I mount to the cell. when he made shoes under my care. to examine that cell. his wife only looking from him to look with solicitude at her father. to the hands of the President.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I knew. I confide this paper. when the place shall fall. ‘I knew that this prisoner. very closely. Defarge never taking his from his feasting wife. looking down at his wife. I find a written paper. where a stone has been worked out and replaced.’ In a dead silence and stillness—the prisoner under trial looking lovingly at his wife. of whom I speak. In a hole in the chimney. had been confined in a cell known as One Hundred and Five. North Tower. who stood at the bottom of the steps on which he was raised.’ said Defarge. This is that written paper. I examine it. It falls. I have made it my business to examine some specimens of the writing of Doctor Manette. Doctor Manette keeping his eyes fixed on the reader. in the writing of Doctor Manette. He knew himself by no other name than One Hundred and Five. looking steadily up at him. and all the other eyes there 564 of 670 . with a fellow-citizen who is one of the Jury. As I serve my gun that day.’ ‘Let it be read. I resolve.

A Tale of Two Cities intent upon the Doctor. 565 of 670 . who saw none of them—the paper was read. as follows.

1767. ‘These words are formed by the rusty iron point with which I write with difficulty in scrapings of soot and charcoal from the chimney. unfortunate physician. whether 566 of 670 . I design to secrete it in the wall of the chimney. but I solemnly declare that I am at this time in the possession of my right mind—that my memory is exact and circumstantial—and that I write the truth as I shall answer for these my last recorded words. in the last month of the tenth year of my captivity. native of Beauvais. I know from terrible warnings I have noted in myself that my reason will not long remain unimpaired. during the last month of the year. I write it at stolen intervals.A Tale of Two Cities X The Substance of the Shadow ‘I. Hope has quite departed from my breast. under every difficulty. and afterwards resident in Paris. Some pitying hand may find it there. Alexandre Manette. when I and my sorrows are dust. write this melancholy paper in my doleful cell in the Bastille. where I have slowly and laboriously made a place of concealment for it. mixed with blood.

at an hour’s distance from my place of residence in the Street of the School of Medicine. I also observed that they both looked of about my own age. As they stood side by side near the carriage door. in stature. a head was put out at the window.A Tale of Two Cities they be ever read by men or not. The carriage was then so far in advance of me that two gentlemen had time to open the door and alight before I came up with it. manner. and (as far as I could see) face too. I observed that they were both wrapped in cloaks. I answered. ‘‘You are Doctor Manette?’ said one. As I stood aside to let that carriage pass. when a carriage came along behind me. and appeared to conceal themselves. driven very fast. in the third week of December (I think the twenty-second of the month) in the year 1757. 567 of 670 . ‘The carriage stopped as soon as the driver could rein in his horses. and a voice called to the driver to stop. or rather younger. voice. I was walking on a retired part of the quay by the Seine for the refreshment of the frosty air. ‘One cloudy moonlight night. apprehensive that it might otherwise run me down. and that they were greatly alike. at the Eternal Judgmentseat. and the same voice called to me by my name.

As to the nature of the case. who within the last year or two has made a rising reputation in Paris?’ ‘‘Gentlemen. formerly of Beauvais. your clients are people of condition. They were armed. Will you please to enter the carriage?’ ‘The manner of both was imperious. ‘Doctor. originally an expert surgeon. ‘‘Gentlemen. so as to place me between themselves and the carriage door. in the hope of overtaking you. as these words were spoken. we followed. ‘pardon me.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I am. I was not.’ I returned.’ said the other. ‘the young physician. and they both moved. our confidence in your skill assures us that you will ascertain it for yourself better than 568 of 670 . and what is the nature of the case to which I am summoned.’ said I. ‘I am that Doctor Manette of whom you speak so graciously. ‘and not being so fortunate as to find you there. but I usually inquire who does me the honour to seek my assistance. and being informed that you were probably walking in this direction.’ ‘‘We have been to your residence.’ said the first.’ ‘‘Doctor Manette.’ ‘The reply to this was made by him who had spoken second.

the same. We all three alighted. The carriage turned about. by a damp soft footpath in a garden where a neglected fountain had overflowed. in answer to the ringing of the bell. and put my paper in its hiding-place. to the door of the house. I leave off for the time. and emerged upon the country road. Where I make the broken marks that follow here. I describe everything exactly as it took place. after putting up the steps. **** ‘The carriage left the streets behind. At twothirds of a league from the Barrier—I did not estimate the distance at that time. and drove on at its former speed. but afterwards when I traversed it—it struck out of the main avenue. It was not opened immediately. and walked. constraining my mind not to wander from the task. They both entered after me—the last springing in. Will you please to enter the carriage?’ ‘I could do nothing but comply. Enough. and I entered it in silence. and presently stopped at a solitary house. ‘I repeat this conversation exactly as it occurred. I have no doubt that it is. 569 of 670 . word for word.A Tale of Two Cities we can describe it. passed the North Barrier.

with his heavy riding glove. I saw the armorial bearings of a Noble. and I found a patient in a high fever of the brain. On one of them. struck the man in like manner with his arm. and had relocked). the cries growing louder as we ascended the stairs. ‘There was nothing in this action to attract my particular attention. being angry likewise. I had heard cries proceeding from an upper chamber. ‘From the time of our alighting at the outer gate (which we found locked. assuredly not much past twenty. that I then first perceived them to be twin brothers. I noticed that these bonds were all portions of a gentleman’s dress. and her arms were bound to her sides with sashes and handkerchiefs. lying on a bed. and the letter E. 570 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities and one of my two conductors struck the man who opened it. for I had seen common people struck more commonly than dogs. and which one of the brothers had opened to admit us. Her hair was torn and ragged. across the face. ‘The patient was a woman of great beauty. and young. the look and bearing of the brothers were then so exactly alike. I was conducted to this chamber straight. the other of the two. But. which was a fringed scarf for a dress of ceremony.

I mean him who exercised 571 of 670 . and looked into her face. by the elder. and no more. I will call them the elder and the younger. in her restless strivings she had turned over on her face on the edge of the bed. and then the piercing shrieks would begin again. had drawn the end of the scarf into her mouth. ‘has this lasted?’ ‘To distinguish the brothers. she would pause to listen. and say. Her eyes were dilated and wild. ‘I turned her gently over. ‘‘How long. and she constantly uttered piercing shrieks. or the manner. ‘Hush!’ There was no variation in the order. ‘My husband. There was no cessation. and repeated the words. ‘My husband.’ I asked. my father. My first act was to put out my hand to relieve her breathing. but the regular moment’s pause. and said. my father. and in moving the scarf aside. and my brother!’ and would count up to twelve. ‘Hush!’ For an instant.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I saw this. placed my hands upon her breast to calm her and keep her down. and was in danger of suffocation. in the utterance of these sounds. and she would repeat the cry. for. within the first minute of my contemplation of the patient. and my brother!’ and then counted up to twelve. the embroidery in the corner caught my sight.

’ and brought it from a closet. who said haughtily.’ said I. ‘There is a case of medicines here. ‘how useless I am. time must be lost. **** ‘I opened some of the bottles. and put the stoppers to my lips. If I had wanted to use anything save 572 of 670 . As it is. a father.’ ‘‘She has a husband. as you have brought me! If I had known what I was coming to see. and put it on the table. smelt them. It was the elder who replied.A Tale of Two Cities the most authority. There are no medicines to be obtained in this lonely place. gentlemen. ‘No. ‘With twelve o’clock?’ ‘‘See. still keeping my hands upon her breast. and a brother?’ ‘‘A brother. ‘Since about this hour last night.’ ‘‘She has some recent association with the number twelve?’ ‘The younger brother impatiently rejoined.’ ‘‘I do not address her brother?’ ‘He answered with great contempt.’ ‘The elder brother looked to the younger. I could have come provided.

with the cry. ‘My husband. ‘I made the patient swallow. ‘‘You see. the dose that I desired to give. my father. that my hand upon the sufferer’s breast had this much soothing influence. I then sat down by the side of the bed. monsieur. that for 573 of 670 . ‘‘Do you doubt them?’ asked the younger brother. recently occupied and temporarily used. and ‘Hush!’ The frenzy was so violent. and as it was necessary to watch its influence. and after many efforts. and said no more. As I intended to repeat it after a while.A Tale of Two Cities narcotic medicines that were poisons in themselves. The only spark of encouragement in the case. I would not have administered any of those. There was a timid and suppressed woman in attendance (wife of the man down-stairs). to see that they were not painful. was. I had looked to them. who had retreated into a corner. indifferently furnished—evidently. I am going to use them. but. Some thick old hangings had been nailed up before the windows. to deaden the sound of the shrieks. and my brother!’ the counting up to twelve.’ I replied. They continued to be uttered in their regular succession. that I had not unfastened the bandages restraining the arms. with great difficulty. The house was damp and decayed.

**** ‘The other patient lay in a back room across a second staircase. to get at the other. which was a species of loft over a stable. Hay and straw were stored in that portion of the place. no pendulum could be more regular. in this my cell in the Bastille.A Tale of Two Cities minutes at a time it tranquillised the figure. ‘Is it a pressing case?’ ‘‘You had better see. to the ridge of the tiled roof. and a heap of apples in sand. I had to pass through that part. and I see them all. I try it with these details. the rest was open. near the close of the tenth year of my captivity. and there were beams across.’ ‘I was startled. fagots for firing. ‘For the reason that my hand had this effect (I assume). with the two brothers looking on. I had sat by the side of the bed for half an hour. and took up a light. as I saw them all that night.’ he carelessly answered. before the elder said: ‘‘There is another patient. It had no effect upon the cries. There was a low plastered ceiling to a part of it. and asked. My memory is circumstantial and unshaken. 574 of 670 .

‘‘A crazed young common dog! A serf! Forced my brother to draw upon him. He was then dying fast. and his glaring eyes looking straight upward. my poor fellow. ‘‘How has this been done. I saw him looking down at this handsome boy whose life was ebbing out. as I kneeled on one knee over him. monsieur?’ said I. He lay on his back. ‘let it be.four hours before. with his teeth set. or rabbit. or hare. and has fallen by my brother’s sword—like a gentleman. As I turned my eyes to the elder brother. but. The wound was a sword-thrust. as if he were a wounded bird. not at all as if he were a fellow-creature.’ 575 of 670 .’ said I. lay a handsome peasant boy—a boy of not more than seventeen at the most. ‘Let me examine it. and I soothed him to let me move his hand away.’ he answered. but no skill could have saved him if it had been looked to without delay. ‘‘I am a doctor.’ ‘‘I do not want it examined.’ ‘It was under his hand. I could not see where his wound was. I could see that he was dying of a wound from a sharp point.A Tale of Two Cities ‘On some hay on the ground. his right hand clenched on his breast. with a cushion thrown under his head. received from twenty to twenty.

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‘There was no touch of pity, sorrow, or kindred humanity, in this answer. The speaker seemed to acknowledge that it was inconvenient to have that different order of creature dying there, and that it would have been better if he had died in the usual obscure routine of his vermin kind. He was quite incapable of any compassionate feeling about the boy, or about his fate. ‘The boy’s eyes had slowly moved to him as he had spoken, and they now slowly moved to me. ‘‘Doctor, they are very proud, these Nobles; but we common dogs are proud too, sometimes. They plunder us, outrage us, beat us, kill us; but we have a little pride left, sometimes. She—have you seen her, Doctor?’ ‘The shrieks and the cries were audible there, though subdued by the distance. He referred to them, as if she were lying in our presence. ‘I said, ‘I have seen her.’ ‘‘She is my sister, Doctor. They have had their shameful rights, these Nobles, in the modesty and virtue of our sisters, many years, but we have had good girls among us. I know it, and have heard my father say so. She was a good girl. She was betrothed to a good young man, too: a tenant of his. We were all tenants of his—that man’s who

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stands there. The other is his brother, the worst of a bad race.’ ‘It was with the greatest difficulty that the boy gathered bodily force to speak; but, his spirit spoke with a dreadful emphasis. ‘‘We were so robbed by that man who stands there, as all we common dogs are by those superior Beings—taxed by him without mercy, obliged to work for him without pay, obliged to grind our corn at his mill, obliged to feed scores of his tame birds on our wretched crops, and forbidden for our lives to keep a single tame bird of our own, pillaged and plundered to that degree that when we chanced to have a bit of meat, we ate it in fear, with the door barred and the shutters closed, that his people should not see it and take it from us—I say, we were so robbed, and hunted, and were made so poor, that our father told us it was a dreadful thing to bring a child into the world, and that what we should most pray for, was, that our women might be barren and our miserable race die out!’ ‘I had never before seen the sense of being oppressed, bursting forth like a fire. I had supposed that it must be latent in the people somewhere; but, I had never seen it break out, until I saw it in the dying boy.

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‘‘Nevertheless, Doctor, my sister married. He was ailing at that time, poor fellow, and she married her lover, that she might tend and comfort him in our cottage—our doghut, as that man would call it. She had not been married many weeks, when that man’s brother saw her and admired her, and asked that man to lend her to him—for what are husbands among us! He was willing enough, but my sister was good and virtuous, and hated his brother with a hatred as strong as mine. What did the two then, to persuade her husband to use his influence with her, to make her willing?’ ‘The boy’s eyes, which had been fixed on mine, slowly turned to the looker-on, and I saw in the two faces that all he said was true. The two opposing kinds of pride confronting one another, I can see, even in this Bastille; the gentleman’s, all negligent indifference; the peasants, all trodden-down sentiment, and passionate revenge. ‘‘You know, Doctor, that it is among the Rights of these Nobles to harness us common dogs to carts, and drive us. They so harnessed him and drove him. You know that it is among their Rights to keep us in their grounds all night, quieting the frogs, in order that their noble sleep may not be disturbed. They kept him out in the unwholesome mists at night, and ordered him back 578 of 670

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into his harness in the day. But he was not persuaded. No! Taken out of harness one day at noon, to feed—if he could find food—he sobbed twelve times, once for every stroke of the bell, and died on her bosom.’ ‘Nothing human could have held life in the boy but his determination to tell all his wrong. He forced back the gathering shadows of death, as he forced his clenched right hand to remain clenched, and to cover his wound. ‘‘Then, with that man’s permission and even with his aid, his brother took her away; in spite of what I know she must have told his brother—and what that is, will not be long unknown to you, Doctor, if it is now—his brother took her away—for his pleasure and diversion, for a little while. I saw her pass me on the road. When I took the tidings home, our father’s heart burst; he never spoke one of the words that filled it. I took my young sister (for I have another) to a place beyond the reach of this man, and where, at least, she will never be HIS vassal. Then, I tracked the brother here, and last night climbed in—a common dog, but sword in hand.—Where is the loft window? It was somewhere here?’ ‘The room was darkening to his sight; the world was narrowing around him. I glanced about me, and saw that

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the hay and straw were trampled over the floor, as if there had been a struggle. ‘‘She heard me, and ran in. I told her not to come near us till he was dead. He came in and first tossed me some pieces of money; then struck at me with a whip. But I, though a common dog, so struck at him as to make him draw. Let him break into as many pieces as he will, the sword that he stained with my common blood; he drew to defend himself—thrust at me with all his skill for his life.’ ‘My glance had fallen, but a few moments before, on the fragments of a broken sword, lying among the hay. That weapon was a gentleman’s. In another place, lay an old sword that seemed to have been a soldier’s. ‘‘Now, lift me up, Doctor; lift me up. Where is he?’ ‘‘He is not here,’ I said, supporting the boy, and thinking that he referred to the brother. ‘‘He! Proud as these nobles are, he is afraid to see me. Where is the man who was here? turn my face to him.’ ‘I did so, raising the boy’s head against my knee. But, invested for the moment with extraordinary power, he raised himself completely: obliging me to rise too, or I could not have still supported him. ‘‘Marquis,’ said the boy, turned to him with his eyes opened wide, and his right hand raised, ‘in the days when 580 of 670

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all these things are to be answered for, I summon you and yours, to the last of your bad race, to answer for them. I mark this cross of blood upon you, as a sign that I do it. In the days when all these things are to be answered for, I summon your brother, the worst of the bad race, to answer for them separately. I mark this cross of blood upon him, as a sign that I do it.’ ‘Twice, he put his hand to the wound in his breast, and with his forefinger drew a cross in the air. He stood for an instant with the finger yet raised, and as it dropped, he dropped with it, and I laid him down dead. **** ‘When I returned to the bedside of the young woman, I found her raving in precisely the same order of continuity. I knew that this might last for many hours, and that it would probably end in the silence of the grave. ‘I repeated the medicines I had given her, and I sat at the side of the bed until the night was far advanced. She never abated the piercing quality of her shrieks, never stumbled in the distinctness or the order of her words. They were always ‘My husband, my father, and my

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brother! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve. Hush!’ ‘This lasted twenty-six hours from the time when I first saw her. I had come and gone twice, and was again sitting by her, when she began to falter. I did what little could be done to assist that opportunity, and by-and-bye she sank into a lethargy, and lay like the dead. ‘It was as if the wind and rain had lulled at last, after a long and fearful storm. I released her arms, and called the woman to assist me to compose her figure and the dress she had to. It was then that I knew her condition to be that of one in whom the first expectations of being a mother have arisen; and it was then that I lost the little hope I had had of her. ‘‘Is she dead?’ asked the Marquis, whom I will still describe as the elder brother, coming booted into the room from his horse. ‘‘Not dead,’ said I; ‘but like to die.’ ‘‘What strength there is in these common bodies!’ he said, looking down at her with some curiosity. ‘‘There is prodigious strength,’ I answered him, ‘in sorrow and despair.’

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‘He first laughed at my words, and then frowned at them. He moved a chair with his foot near to mine, ordered the woman away, and said in a subdued voice, ‘‘Doctor, finding my brother in this difficulty with these hinds, I recommended that your aid should be invited. Your reputation is high, and, as a young man with your fortune to make, you are probably mindful of your interest. The things that you see here, are things to be seen, and not spoken of.’ ‘I listened to the patient’s breathing, and avoided answering. ‘‘Do you honour me with your attention, Doctor?’ ‘‘Monsieur,’ said I, ‘in my profession, the communications of patients are always received in confidence.’ I was guarded in my answer, for I was troubled in my mind with what I had heard and seen. ‘Her breathing was so difficult to trace, that I carefully tried the pulse and the heart. There was life, and no more. Looking round as I resumed my seat, I found both the brothers intent upon me. ****

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‘I write with so much difficulty, the cold is so severe, I am so fearful of being detected and consigned to an underground cell and total darkness, that I must abridge this narrative. There is no confusion or failure in my memory; it can recall, and could detail, every word that was ever spoken between me and those brothers. ‘She lingered for a week. Towards the last, I could understand some few syllables that she said to me, by placing my ear close to her lips. She asked me where she was, and I told her; who I was, and I told her. It was in vain that I asked her for her family name. She faintly shook her head upon the pillow, and kept her secret, as the boy had done. ‘I had no opportunity of asking her any question, until I had told the brothers she was sinking fast, and could not live another day. Until then, though no one was ever presented to her consciousness save the woman and myself, one or other of them had always jealously sat behind the curtain at the head of the bed when I was there. But when it came to that, they seemed careless what communication I might hold with her; as if—the thought passed through my mind—I were dying too. ‘I always observed that their pride bitterly resented the younger brother’s (as I call him) having crossed swords 584 of 670

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with a peasant, and that peasant a boy. The only consideration that appeared to affect the mind of either of them was the consideration that this was highly degrading to the family, and was ridiculous. As often as I caught the younger brother’s eyes, their expression reminded me that he disliked me deeply, for knowing what I knew from the boy. He was smoother and more polite to me than the elder; but I saw this. I also saw that I was an incumbrance in the mind of the elder, too. ‘My patient died, two hours before midnight—at a time, by my watch, answering almost to the minute when I had first seen her. I was alone with her, when her forlorn young head drooped gently on one side, and all her earthly wrongs and sorrows ended. ‘The brothers were waiting in a room down-stairs, impatient to ride away. I had heard them, alone at the bedside, striking their boots with their riding-whips, and loitering up and down. ‘‘At last she is dead?’ said the elder, when I went in. ‘‘She is dead,’ said I. ‘‘I congratulate you, my brother,’were his words as he turned round. ‘He had before offered me money, which I had postponed taking. He now gave me a rouleau of gold. I 585 of 670

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took it from his hand, but laid it on the table. I had considered the question, and had resolved to accept nothing. ‘‘Pray excuse me,’ said I. ‘Under the circumstances, no.’ ‘They exchanged looks, but bent their heads to me as I bent mine to them, and we parted without another word on either side. **** ‘I am weary, weary, weary-worn down by misery. I cannot read what I have written with this gaunt hand. ‘Early in the morning, the rouleau of gold was left at my door in a little box, with my name on the outside. From the first, I had anxiously considered what I ought to do. I decided, that day, to write privately to the Minister, stating the nature of the two cases to which I had been summoned, and the place to which I had gone: in effect, stating all the circumstances. I knew what Court influence was, and what the immunities of the Nobles were, and I expected that the matter would never be heard of; but, I wished to relieve my own mind. I had kept the matter a profound secret, even from my wife; and this, too, I

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resolved to state in my letter. I had no apprehension whatever of my real danger; but I was conscious that there might be danger for others, if others were compromised by possessing the knowledge that I possessed. ‘I was much engaged that day, and could not complete my letter that night. I rose long before my usual time next morning to finish it. It was the last day of the year. The letter was lying before me just completed, when I was told that a lady waited, who wished to see me. **** ‘I am growing more and more unequal to the task I have set myself. It is so cold, so dark, my senses are so benumbed, and the gloom upon me is so dreadful. ‘The lady was young, engaging, and handsome, but not marked for long life. She was in great agitation. She presented herself to me as the wife of the Marquis St. Evremonde. I connected the title by which the boy had addressed the elder brother, with the initial letter embroidered on the scarf, and had no difficulty in arriving at the conclusion that I had seen that nobleman very lately.

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‘My memory is still accurate, but I cannot write the words of our conversation. I suspect that I am watched more closely than I was, and I know not at what times I may be watched. She had in part suspected, and in part discovered, the main facts of the cruel story, of her husband’s share in it, and my being resorted to. She did not know that the girl was dead. Her hope had been, she said in great distress, to show her, in secret, a woman’s sympathy. Her hope had been to avert the wrath of Heaven from a House that had long been hateful to the suffering many. ‘She had reasons for believing that there was a young sister living, and her greatest desire was, to help that sister. I could tell her nothing but that there was such a sister; beyond that, I knew nothing. Her inducement to come to me, relying on my confidence, had been the hope that I could tell her the name and place of abode. Whereas, to this wretched hour I am ignorant of both. **** ‘These scraps of paper fail me. One was taken from me, with a warning, yesterday. I must finish my record to-day.

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I 589 of 670 . What I have left to call my own—it is little beyond the worth of a few jewels—I will make it the first charge of his life to bestow.’ ‘She kissed the boy. caressing him. I never saw her more. little Charles?’ The child answered her bravely. with the compassion and lamenting of his dead mother. compassionate lady. and she took him in her arms.’ she said. I have a presentiment that if no other innocent atonement is made for this. Thou wilt be faithful. there was a child. and not happy in her marriage. and in dread of her husband too. ‘As she had mentioned her husband’s name in the faith that I knew it. it will one day be required of him. ‘It is for thine own dear sake. Doctor. ‘I would do all I can to make what poor amends I can. and his influence was all opposed to her. she stood in dread of him. on this injured family. if the sister can be discovered. How could she be! The brother distrusted and disliked her. in her carriage. He will never prosper in his inheritance otherwise. When I handed her down to the door. pointing to him in tears. I added no mention of it to my letter. ‘Yes!’ I kissed her hand.A Tale of Two Cities ‘She was a good. and went away caressing him. and said. a pretty boy from two to three years old. ‘‘For his sake.

Not a word was spoken. ‘It brought me here. the last night of the year. I was brought here. ‘If it had pleased GOD to put it in the hard heart of either of the brothers. Honore. not trusting it out of my own hands. standing silent behind him. The two brothers crossed the road from a dark corner. burnt it in the light of a lantern that was held. and softly followed my servant. delivered it myself that day. he had a coach in waiting. and extinguished the ashes with his foot. It would not detain me. demanded to see me.A Tale of Two Cities sealed my letter. up-stairs. ‘That night. a youth. a man in a black dress rang at my gate. ‘An urgent case in the Rue St. and my arms were pinioned. When I was clear of the house. When my servant came into the room where I sat with my wife—O my wife. in all these frightful years. I was brought to my living grave. showed it me. towards nine o’clock. to grant me any tidings of my dearest wife—so much as to let me 590 of 670 . who was supposed to be at the gate. and. a black muffler was drawn tightly over my mouth from behind. it brought me to my grave. and identified me with a single gesture. The Marquis took from his pocket the letter I had written. Ernest Defarge. he said. beloved of my heart! My fair young English wife!—we saw the man.

against such denunciation. in presence of that tribunal and that auditory. and had kept it. now I believe that the mark of the red cross is fatal to them. And them and their descendants. But. Little need to show that this detested family name had long been anathematised by Saint Antoine.’ A terrible sound arose when the reading of this document was done. Alexandre Manette. Little need. The man never trod ground whose virtues and services would have sustained him in that place that day. and was wrought into the fatal register.A Tale of Two Cities know by a word whether alive or dead—I might have thought that He had not quite abandoned them. A sound of craving and eagerness that had nothing articulate in it but blood. and that they have no part in His mercies. to show how the Defarges had not made the paper public. I. denounce to the times when all these things shall be answered for. 591 of 670 . with the other captured Bastille memorials borne in procession. to the last of their race. The narrative called up the most revengeful passions of the time. do this last night of the year 1767. I denounce them to Heaven and to earth. biding their time. in my unbearable agony. and there was not a head in the nation but must have dropped before it. unhappy prisoner.

Roar and roar. not a touch of human sympathy. patriotic fervour. there was a roar. for imitations of the questionable public virtues of antiquity. At heart and by descent an Aristocrat. ‘Save him now. Another and another. has that Doctor?’ murmured Madame Defarge. One of the frenzied aspirations of the populace was. there was wild excitement. that the good physician of the Republic would deserve better still of the Republic by rooting out an obnoxious family of Aristocrats. the father of his wife. Therefore when the President said (else had his own head quivered on his shoulders). a notorious oppressor of the People. smiling to The Vengeance. Unanimously voted. Back to the Conciergerie. and Death within four-and-twenty hours! 592 of 670 . and would doubtless feel a sacred glow and joy in making his daughter a widow and her child an orphan. my Doctor. an enemy of the Republic. ‘Much influence around him. that the denouncer was a well-known citizen. and for sacrifices and self-immolations on the people’s altar. save him!’ At every juryman’s vote.A Tale of Two Cities And all the worse for the doomed man. his own attached friend.

and Barsad. as if she had been mortally stricken. if you would have so much compassion for us!’ There was but a gaoler left. along with two of the four men who had taken him last night. and so strong was the voice within her. fell under the sentence. The Judges having to take part in a public demonstration out of doors. with nothing in her face but love and consolation. the Tribunal adjourned. ‘If I might touch him! If I might embrace him once! O. it 593 of 670 . when Lucie stood stretching out her arms towards her husband. The people had all poured out to the show in the streets. Barsad proposed to the rest. good citizens.A Tale of Two Cities XI Dusk The wretched wife of the innocent man thus doomed to die. she uttered no sound. The quick noise and movement of the court’s emptying itself by many passages had not ceased. But. ‘Let her embrace him then. that it quickly raised her. even from that shock. representing that it was she of all the world who must uphold him in his misery and not augment it.

where the weary are at rest!’ They were her husband’s words. what a struggle you made of old. dear Charles. as He did for me. no! What have you done. and they passed her over the seats in the hall to a raised place. what have you done.’ ‘I send it to her by you. dear darling of my soul. I feel that this will break my heart by-and-bye. now what you 594 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities is but a moment. God will raise up friends for her. could fold her in his arms. A parting blessing for our child. I kiss her by you. ‘Farewell. and when I leave her. ‘We shall not be separated long. but I will do my duty while I can. No! A moment!’ He was tearing himself apart from her. crying: ‘No. ‘I can bear it. We know.’ It was silently acquiesced in. but that Darnay put out a hand and seized him. I say farewell to her by you. My parting blessing on my love. as he held her to his bosom.’ ‘My husband. where he. and would have fallen on his knees to both of them. We shall meet again. by leaning over the dock.’ Her father had followed her. I am supported from above: don’t suffer for me. that you should kneel to us! We know now.

his wife released him. and with a radiant look upon her face. Be comforted. and fell at his feet.A Tale of Two Cities underwent when you suspected my descent. and wring them with a shriek of anguish. and all our love and duty. and stood looking after him with her hands touching one another in the attitude of prayer. ‘It could not be otherwise. Then. and forgive me. His arm 595 of 670 . issuing from the obscure corner from which he had never moved. in which there was even a comforting smile. she turned. Only her father and Mr. and when you knew it. Heaven be with you!’ Her father’s only answer was to draw his hands through his white hair. a happier end was not in nature to so unhappy a beginning. Heaven bless you!’ As he was drawn away. Lorry were with her. Good could never come of such evil. laid her head lovingly on her father’s breast. ‘All things have worked together as they have fallen out. the natural antipathy you strove against. We thank you with all our hearts. tried to speak to him. As he went out at the prisoners’ door.’ said the prisoner. for her dear sake. it was the always-vain endeavour to discharge my poor mother’s trust that first brought my fatal presence near you. We know now. Sydney Carton came and took her up. and conquered.

to the latter. look at her. Carton. to picture to himself on which of the rough stones of the street her feet had trodden. Don’t revive her to consciousness.’ He carried her lightly to the door. ‘Now that you have come. ‘she is better so. and he took his seat beside the driver. where her child and Miss Pross wept over her. in a burst of grief. Her father and their old friend got into it. Yet. When they arrived at the gateway where he had paused in the dark not many hours before. something to save papa! O.’ he said. and supported her head. bear to see her so?’ 596 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities trembled as it raised her. Carton. There. there was an air about him that was not all of pity—that had a flush of pride in it. he lifted her again. springing up and throwing her arms passionately round him.’ ‘Oh. of all the people who love her. dear Carton! Can you. he laid her down on a couch. softly. and carried her up the staircase to their rooms. and laid her tenderly down in a coach. dear Carton!’ cried little Lucie. while she only faints. ‘Don’t recall her to herself. I think you will do something to help mamma. ‘Shall I take her to a coach? I shall never feel her weight.

’ 597 of 670 . are they not?’ ‘Nothing connected with Charles was concealed from me. who were following. told them afterwards. I had the strongest assurances that I should save him.’ When he had gone out into the next room.’ He returned the answer in great trouble. and paused—‘I may kiss her?’ It was remembered afterwards that when he bent down and touched her face with his lips. and said to the latter: ‘You had great influence but yesterday. he turned suddenly on Mr. let it at least be tried. The hours between this and tomorrow afternoon are few and short. Doctor Manette. but try. and I did. I will not rest a moment.’ he said. Lorry and her father.’ ‘I intend to try. and very slowly. who was nearest to him.A Tale of Two Cities He bent over the child. He put her gently from him. are very friendly to you. and looked at her unconscious mother. ‘Try them again. and laid her blooming cheek against his face. that she heard him say. he murmured some words. The child. ‘A life you love. ‘Before I go. and all the men in power. and told her grandchildren when she was a handsome old lady. and very recognisant of your services. These judges.

’ ‘May you prosper!’ 598 of 670 . and not much the forlorner for being delayed till dark. with a smile and a sigh together. Within an hour or two from this. I will write too. I should hope.’ ‘That’s true. and no one will be accessible until dark. ‘such great things as this.A Tale of Two Cities ‘That’s well.’ ‘I will go. it is worth that effort. Let us stretch the hour or two. either from our friend or from yourself?’ ‘Yes. and—But stay! There is a Celebration in the streets. It would cost nothing to lay down if it were not. ‘to the Prosecutor and the President straight. and I will go to others whom it is better not to name. shall I hear what you have done. Lorry’s at nine.’ he added. mind! I expect nothing! When are you likely to have seen these dread powers.’ ‘It will be dark soon after four. Well! It is a forlorn hope at the best. I have known such energy as yours do great things before now—though never. But try! Of little worth as life is when we misuse it. Doctor Manette?’ ‘Immediately after dark.’ said Doctor Manette. I should like to know how you speed. If I go to Mr. though.

Lorry. Lorry.’ ‘And so do I. for what is his life. touching him on the shoulder as he was going away.’ said Mr. 599 of 670 . in a low and sorrowful whisper. I heard the fall of the axe in that sound.’ returned Mr. I encouraged Doctor Manette in this idea. Otherwise. ‘you are right. drying his eyes. down-stairs. or all of these men. because I felt that it might one day be consolatory to her. there is no real hope.’ ‘If any one of these men. Lorry followed Sydney to the outer door.’ Mr. yes.’ ‘Yes. ‘I have no hope.A Tale of Two Cities Mr. He will perish: there is no real hope. very gently.’ echoed Carton. and. or any man’s to them!—I doubt if they durst spare him after the demonstration in the court.’ said Carton.’ ‘Yes. ‘Nor have I. she might think ‘his life was want only thrown away or wasted. But he will perish. caused him to turn. were disposed to spare him—which is a large supposition. ‘Don’t despond. And walked with a settled step.’ and that might trouble her. and bowed his face upon it. Lorry leaned his arm upon the door-post. yes. ‘don’t grieve.

‘It is best. It is best that these people should know there is such a man as I here. it is a sound precaution. It was not difficult for one who knew the city well. and dined at a place of refreshment and fell sound asleep 600 of 670 . ‘At Tellson’s banking-house at nine. Carton came out of those closer streets again. Defarge had described himself. His first impression was confirmed. and traced the thought in his mind to its possible consequences.A Tale of Two Cities XII Darkness Sydney Carton paused in the street. care. ‘Shall I do well.’ he said. and may be a necessary preparation. Having ascertained its situation. with a musing face. finally resolved. ‘that these people should know there is such a man as I here. care! Let me think it out!’ Checking his steps which had begun to tend towards an object.’ he said. he took a turn or two in the already darkening street. as the keeper of a wine-shop in the Saint Antoine suburb. to show myself? I think so. not quite decided where to go. But care.’ And he turned his face towards Saint Antoine. in the mean time. that day. to find his house without asking any question.

of the restless fingers and the croaking voice. took his seat and asked (in very indifferent French) for a small measure of wine. and slightly altered the disordered arrangement of his loose cravat. and last night he had dropped the brandy slowly down on Mr. This done. He repeated what he had already said. As he passed along towards Saint Antoine. 601 of 670 . It was as late as seven o’clock when he awoke refreshed. Lorry’s hearth like a man who had done with it. and his wild hair. Madame Defarge cast a careless glance at him. in conversation with the Defarges. man and wife. Since last night he had taken nothing but a little light thin wine. and went out into the streets again. he went on direct to Defarge’s. and then advanced to him herself. and his coatcollar. and then a keener. he stopped at a shopwindow where there was a mirror. This man. and then a keener.A Tale of Two Cities after dinner. There happened to be no customer in the shop but Jacques Three. The Vengeance assisted in the conversation. and asked him what it was he had ordered. he had no strong drink. stood drinking at the little counter. For the first time in many years. and went in. whom he had seen upon the Jury. like a regular member of the establishment. As Carton walked in.

I drink to the Republic. my faith! And you are looking forward with so much pleasure to seeing him once more to-morrow!’ 602 of 670 .’ Defarge went back to the counter. madame.A Tale of Two Cities ‘English?’ asked Madame Defarge. he answered. see you. he heard her say. in his former strong foreign accent. ‘How?’ ‘Good evening.’ ‘Oh! Good evening. ‘He is so much in your mind. ‘Yes. like Evremonde!’ Defarge brought him the wine. as he took up a Jacobin journal and feigned to pore over it puzzling out its meaning. ‘Certainly. with a laugh. inquisitively raising her dark eyebrows. yes. ‘Yes. madame. citizen. and gave him Good Evening. and.’ Jacques Three pacifically remarked. I am English!’ Madame Defarge returned to her counter to get the wine.’ filling his glass. ‘I swear to you. a little like. After looking at her. as if the sound of even a single French word were slow to express itself to him.’ The amiable Vengeance added. and said. ‘I tell you a good deal like.’ Madame sternly retorted. ‘Ah! and good wine.

’ said Defarge. I have observed his face.’ reasoned Defarge. They were all leaning their arms on the counter close together. ‘Magnificent!’ croaked Jacques Three. you have seen him to-day. ‘Yes. they resumed their conversation. ‘It is true what madame says. ‘Why stop? There is great force in that. ‘but one must stop somewhere. But this Doctor has suffered much. and with a studious and absorbed face. highly approved. rather troubled. with a slow forefinger. I have observed his face to be not the face of a true friend of the Republic. speaking low. After all. Why stop?’ ‘Well.’ said madame. Let him take care of his face!’ 603 of 670 . well. my wife. The Vengeance.A Tale of Two Cities Carton followed the lines and words of his paper.’ ‘I have observed his face!’ repeated madame.’ observed Jacques Three. also. contemptuously and angrily. ‘in general. during which they all looked towards him without disturbing his outward attention from the Jacobin editor. After a silence of a few moments. ‘Extermination is good doctrine. you have observed his face when the paper was read. the question is still where?’ ‘At extermination. I say nothing against it.

‘She is an Angel!’ said The Vengeance. too. Let me but lift my finger—!’ She seemed to raise it (the listener’s eyes were always on his paper). Jacques. in a deprecatory manner. as if the axe had dropped. more times than one. and I have observed her other days. which must be a dreadful anguish to him!’ ‘I have observed his daughter. ‘and see you. and to let it fall with a rattle on the ledge before her. and embraced her. ‘As to thee. stop there. I have observed her in the court. my wife. I have observed her to-day. ‘Not if to lift this glass would do it! But I would leave the matter there. ‘the anguish of his daughter.A Tale of Two Cities ‘And you have observed. my little Vengeance. happily.’ pursued madame. ‘if it depended on thee—which.’ ‘See you then. it does not—thou wouldst rescue this man even now.’ said Madame Defarge. I say. doomed to 604 of 670 . I have observed his daughter. see you both! Listen! For other crimes as tyrants and oppressors. implacably. wrathfully. and I have observed her in the street by the prison.’ repeated madame.’ ‘No!’ protested Defarge. ‘yes. addressing her husband.’ said Defarge. ‘The citizeness is superb!’ croaked the Juryman. I have this race a long time on my register.

he finds this paper of to-day. and that peasant family so injured by the two Evremonde brothers. Ask him. that brother was my brother. here on this spot. those 605 of 670 . I was brought up among the fishermen of the sea-shore. is that so. ‘That night. ‘I communicate to him that secret. that I have now a secret to communicate. that unborn child was their child. we read it. ‘In the beginning of the great days. Ask my husband. and the lamp is burnt out. I tell him. is my family. and he brings it home. and in the middle of the night when this place is clear and shut. as that Bastille paper describes. by the light of this lamp.’ ‘It is so. when the paper is read through.’ assented Defarge. when the Bastille falls. and the day is gleaming in above those shutters and between those iron bars. Defarge. that father was my father. that sister of the mortally wounded boy upon the ground was my sister. is that so.’ assented Defarge. that husband was my sister’s husband. I smite this bosom with these two hands as I smite it now.’ ‘It is so. and I tell him. is that so. ‘Defarge.A Tale of Two Cities destruction and extermination. without being asked.’ ‘It is so.’ assented Defarge again. Ask him.

a weak minority. Lorry’s room 606 of 670 . and was soon swallowed up in the shadow of the prison wall.A Tale of Two Cities dead are my dead. to be directed towards the National Palace. Defarge. ‘Then tell Wind and Fire where to stop. without seeing her—and both highly commended it. as a stranger. interposed a few words for the memory of the compassionate wife of the Marquis. and strike under it sharp and deep.’ ‘It is so. lift it. The English customer paid for what he had had.’ Both her hearers derived a horrible enjoyment from the deadly nature of her wrath—the listener could feel how white she was. ‘but don’t tell me. and the group was broken up. ‘Tell the Wind and the Fire where to stop. he went his way.’ returned madame. and that summons to answer for those things descends to me!’ Ask him. perplexedly counted his change. he emerged from it to present himself in Mr. The English customer was not without his reflections then. that it might be a good deed to seize that arm. But. but only elicited from his own wife a repetition of her last reply. and asked. not me!’ Customers entered.’ assented Defarge once more. in pointing out the road. and put her arm on his. Madame Defarge took him to the door. is that so. At the appointed hour.

and were almost building up some weak structure of hope on his prolonged absence. when they heard him on the stairs. He said he had been with Lucie until just now. it was arranged that he should go back to her. In the meanwhile. Where could he be? They were discussing this question. or whether he had been all that time traversing the streets. and brought none. He waited and waited. and he being unwilling to leave Lucie any longer. Whether he had really been to any one. where he found the old gentleman walking to and fro in restless anxiety. Lorry waited until ten. and come to the banking-house again at midnight. to come and keep his appointment. but Doctor Manette did not come back. and found no tidings of him. Lorry returned. Mr. but they were very slight. since he quitted the banking-house towards four o’clock. The instant he entered the room. He had been more than five hours gone: where could he be? Mr. it was plain that all was lost. but. Carton would wait alone by the fire for the Doctor. She had some faint hopes that his mediation might save Charles. Doctor Manette not returning. and the clock struck twelve. was never 607 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities again. Her father had not been seen. and had only left her for a few minutes.

’ said he. ‘I cannot find it. he took his coat off.’ he implored them. as he spoke with a helpless look straying all around. with a promise that he should have 608 of 670 . ‘and I must have it. and. As he stood staring at them. and let it drop on the floor. Where is it?’ His head and throat were bare. for his face told them everything. with a dreadful cry. like a distracted child. utterly lost! It was so clearly beyond hope to reason with him. What have they done with my work? Time presses: I must finish those shoes. in a whimpering miserable way. ‘Don’t torture a poor forlorn wretch. he tore his hair. come!’ said he. or try to restore him. and I can’t find it.’ Receiving no answer. ‘but give me my work! What is to become of us. they asked him no question. ‘let me get to work. Give me my work. if those shoes are not done to-night?’ Lost. ‘Come. and their hearts died within them.’ They looked at one another. ‘Where is my bench? I have been looking everywhere for my bench. and beat his feet upon the ground.A Tale of Two Cities known. and soothed him to sit down before the fire. that—as if by agreement—they each put a hand upon his shoulder.

before you go. he had better be taken to her. Lorry saw him shrink into the exact figure that Defarge had had in keeping. bereft of her final hope and reliance. But. His lonely daughter. and exact the promise I am going to exact. appealed to them both too strongly. and shed tears. as if by agreement. Again. Carton stooped to pick up the coat. a small case in which the Doctor was accustomed to carry the lists of his day’s 609 of 670 . Affected. As he did so. ‘Say on.’ ‘I do not doubt it. which lay almost entangling his feet. Mr. Carton was the first to speak: ‘The last chance is gone: it was not much. and brooded over the embers. and moaning. by this spectacle of ruin. or a dream. steadily attend to me? Don’t ask me why I make the stipulations I am going to make. and impressed with terror as they both were. was all the time monotonously rocking itself to and fro. it was not a time to yield to such emotions. will you. They spoke in such a tone as they would have used if they had been watching by a sick-bed in the night. As if all that had happened since the garret time were a momentary fancy. Yes. they looked at one another with one meaning in their faces. I have a reason— a good one. Lorry.’ answered Mr.’ The figure in the chair between them.A Tale of Two Cities his work presently. He sank into the chair. for a moment.

It is a similar certificate. You see— Sydney Carton. ‘Keep it for me until to-morrow. ‘We should look at this!’ he said. to pass the barrier and the frontier! You see?’ ‘Yes!’ ‘Perhaps he obtained it as his last and utmost precaution against evil. Look at it. yesterday. ‘that is the certificate which enables me to pass out of this city. First. 610 of 670 . ‘Thank GOD!’ ‘What is it?’ asked Mr. fell lightly on the floor. and I had better not take it into the prison. When is it dated? But no matter. He opened it. ‘A moment! Let me speak of it in its place. gazing in his earnest face.’ he put his hand in his coat. Carton took it up. and there was a folded paper in it. enabling him and his daughter and her child. Lorry nodded his consent. Mr.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘I don’t know. take this paper that Doctor Manette has carried about him.A Tale of Two Cities duties. at any time. and took another paper from it. I shall see him tomorrow. eagerly. an Englishman?’ Mr. Now. Lorry held it open in his hand. Lorry. I prefer not to do so. and exclaimed. you remember.

’ ‘Heaven grant I may. until recalled. put it up carefully with mine and your own. You will save them all. and since then. It is good. I have seen the spy. He knows that a wood-sawyer. Now. I have reason to think. or could have such a paper. and it could depend on no better man. They are in danger of denunciation by Madame Defarge. It is easy to foresee that the pretence will be the common one. This new denunciation 611 of 670 . I know it from her own lips.’ ‘They are not in danger?’ ‘They are in great danger. is under the control of the Defarges. But it may be soon recalled. He confirms me. It will depend on you. which have presented their danger to me in strong colours. that he had. I have lost no time. will be. a prison plot. and that it will involve her life—and perhaps her child’s—and perhaps her father’s—for both have been seen with her at that place. tonight. and. Don’t look so horrified. I have overheard words of that woman’s. living by the prison wall. and has been rehearsed by Madame Defarge as to his having seen Her’—he never mentioned Lucie’s name—‘making signs and signals to prisoners. observe! I never doubted until within this hour or two. Carton! But how?’ ‘I am going to tell you how.A Tale of Two Cities don’t stay to look.

You know it is a capital crime. and this woman (the inveteracy of whose pursuit cannot be described) would wait to add that strength to her case.A Tale of Two Cities will certainly not take place until after to-morrow. You follow me?’ ‘So attentively. and with so much confidence in what you say. to mourn for. more probably a week afterwards. ‘You are a noble heart. Did I say we could depend upon no better man? Tell her. Your preparations have been completed for some days. that for the moment I lose sight. and was as quick as youth. and can buy the means of travelling to the seacoast as quickly as the journey can be made. or sympathise with. so that they may be in starting trim at two o’clock in the afternoon. probably not until two or three days afterwards. She and her father would unquestionably be guilty of this crime. Early to-morrow have your horses ready.’ ‘It shall be done!’ His manner was so fervent and inspiring. and make herself doubly sure. Dwell 612 of 670 . a victim of the Guillotine. what you know of her danger as involving her child and her father. to-night. to return to England.’ touching the back of the Doctor’s chair. that Mr.’ ‘You have money. even of this distress. Lorry caught the flame.

even in this sad state. press upon her the necessity of leaving Paris. and then for England!’ ‘Why.’ ‘I thought so. with them and you. then. grasping his eager but so firm and steady hand. Lorry. take me in. Tell her that it was her husband’s last arrangement.A Tale of Two Cities upon that.’ said Mr. for she would lay her own fair head beside her husband’s cheerfully. The moment I come to you. but I shall have a young and ardent man at my side. at that hour. do you not?’ ‘I am sure of it. You think that her father. then went on as before.’ ‘By the help of Heaven you shall! Promise me solemnly that nothing will influence you to alter the course on which we now stand pledged to one another. will submit himself to her. Tell her that more depends upon it than she dare believe. and drive away. ‘For the sake of her child and her father. you know. or hope.’ He faltered for an instant. even to the taking of your own seat in the carriage. Wait for nothing but to have my place occupied. ‘it does not all depend on one old man. and will reserve my place.’ ‘I understand that I wait for you under all circumstances?’ ‘You have my certificate in your hand with the rest. Quietly and steadily have all these arrangements made in the courtyard here.’ 613 of 670 .

and to tempt it forth to find where the bench and work were hidden that it still moaningly besought to have. good bye!’ Though he said it with a grave smile of earnestness. and many lives must inevitably be sacrificed. He entered the courtyard and remained there for a few moments alone. Carton. Now.’ ‘Remember these words to-morrow: change the course. as to get a cloak and hat put upon it. He walked on the other side of it and protected it to the courtyard of the house where the afflicted heart—so happy in the memorable time when he had revealed his own desolate heart to it—outwatched the awful night. 614 of 670 . he did not part from him then. or delay in it— for any reason—and no life can possibly be saved. I hope to do my part faithfully.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Nothing. looking up at the light in the window of her room. he breathed a blessing towards it. He helped him so far to arouse the rocking figure before the dying embers. Before he went away. and though he even put the old man’s hand to his lips.’ ‘And I hope to do mine.’ ‘I will remember them. and a Farewell.

In every line of the narrative he had heard. before their blood ran into the blood spilled yesterday. whose riches could not buy his life. Two score and twelve were told off. to the seamstress of twenty. From the farmergeneral of seventy. He had fully comprehended 615 of 670 . and heartless indifference.A Tale of Two Cities XIII Fifty-two In the black prison of the Conciergerie. engendered in the vices and neglects of men. intolerable oppression. and the frightful moral disorder. alone in a cell. the blood that was to mingle with theirs tomorrow was already set apart. Fifty-two were to roll that afternoon on the life-tide of the city to the boundless everlasting sea. new occupants were appointed. the doomed of the day awaited their fate. born of unspeakable suffering. he had heard his condemnation. will seize on victims of all degrees. They were in number as the weeks of the year. Charles Darnay. Physical diseases. Before their cells were quit of them. whose poverty and obscurity could not save her. smote equally without distinction. had sustained himself with no flattering delusion since he came to it from the Tribunal.

But. too. and that units could avail him nothing. depended on his quiet fortitude. for a moment. Nevertheless. sprang up to stimulate him. all this was at first. seemed to protest and to make it a selfish thing. that contended against resignation. His hold on life was strong. and it was very. this was closed again. that he was virtually sentenced by the millions. he did feel resigned. a turbulent and heated working of his heart. when he could raise his thoughts much higher. to loosen. and when he brought his strength to bear on that hand and it yielded. and draw comfort down. to compose his mind to what it must bear. it was not easy. by degrees he calmed into the better state. Next followed the thought that much of the future peace of mind enjoyable by the dear ones. 616 of 670 . If. and trod it firmly every day. and that numbers went the same road wrongfully. very hard. with the face of his beloved wife fresh before him.A Tale of Two Cities that no personal influence could possibly save him. Before long. the consideration that there was no disgrace in the fate he must meet. then his wife and child who had to live after him. it clenched the tighter there. There was a hurry. So. by gradual efforts and degrees unclosed a little here. in all his thoughts.

he had travelled thus far on his last way. He had already explained to her that his concealment from herself of the name he had relinquished. until the paper had been read. or had had it recalled to him (for the moment. and was the one promise he had still exacted on the morning of their marriage. until he had heard of it from herself. on that old Sunday under the dear old plane-tree in the garden. He wrote a long letter to Lucie. was the one condition—fully intelligible now—that her father had attached to their betrothal.A Tale of Two Cities Before it had set in dark on the night of his condemnation. when he had found no mention of it among the relics of prisoners which the populace had discovered there. or for good). showing her that he had known nothing of her father’s imprisonment. He entreated her. and that he had been as ignorant as she of his father’s and uncle’s responsibility for that misery. by the story of the Tower. If he had preserved any definite remembrance of it. for her father’s sake. he sat down to write until such time as the prison lamps should be extinguished. and a light. and which had 617 of 670 . never to seek to know whether her father had become oblivious of the existence of the paper. Being allowed to purchase the means of writing. there could be no doubt that he had supposed it destroyed with the Bastille.

that he never once thought of him. and her overcoming of her sorrow. To her father himself. and explained his worldly affairs. Lorry. very strongly. with the hope of rousing him from any despondency or dangerous retrospect towards which he foresaw he might be tending. To Mr. When he lay down on his straw bed. he told her father that he expressly confided his wife and child to his care. Next to her preservation of his own last grateful love and blessing. That done. And he told him this. but had uniformly forgotten himself for their joint sakes. 618 of 670 . he adjured her. but. with the truth that he had done nothing for which he could justly reproach himself. He besought her—though he added that he knew it was needless—to console her father. he thought he had done with this world. he commended them all. all was done. He never thought of Carton. to comfort her father. He had time to finish these letters before the lights were put out.A Tale of Two Cities been described to all the world. by impressing him through every tender means she could think of. His mind was so full of the others. to devote herself to their dear child. he wrote in the same strain. with many added sentences of grateful friendship and warm attachment. as they would meet in Heaven.

until it flashed upon his mind. a new action began in his waking thoughts. obtruded 619 of 670 . where he would be stood. and had come back to her. ‘this is the day of my death!’ Thus. and hoped that he could meet the end with quiet heroism. whether the touching hands would be dyed red. dead and at peace. and showed itself in shining forms.A Tale of Two Cities But. and he awoke in the sombre morning. and she told him it was all a dream. How high it was from the ground. to the day when the fifty-two heads were to fall. had he come through the hours. how many steps it had. unaccountably released and light of heart. or might be the last: these and many similar questions. and yet there was no difference in him. A pause of forgetfulness. and then he had even suffered. He had never seen the instrument that was to terminate his life. Free and happy. it beckoned him back in his sleep. whether he would be the first. unconscious where he was or what had happened. and he had never gone away. he was with Lucie again. back in the old house in Soho (though it had nothing in it like the real house). which was very difficult to master. how he would be touched. And now. while he was composed. in nowise directed by his will. Another pause of oblivion. which way his face would be turned.

and the clocks struck the numbers he would never hear again. twelve coming on to pass away. Rather. After a hard contest with that eccentric action of thought which had last perplexed him. Therefore. softly repeating their names to himself. inasmuch as the tumbrils jolted heavily and slowly through the streets. praying for himself and for them. Nine gone for ever. and so to strengthen himself in the 620 of 670 . free from distracting fancies. Twelve gone for ever. eleven gone for ever. countless times. ten gone for ever. He could walk up and down. as the hour. than his own. He walked up and down. a desire gigantically disproportionate to the few swift moments to which it referred. he resolved to keep Two before his mind. He had been apprised that the final hour was Three. The hours went on as he walked to and fro.A Tale of Two Cities themselves over and over again. he had got the better of it. they originated in a strange besetting desire to know what to do when the time came. Neither were they connected with fear: he was conscious of no fear. and he knew he would be summoned some time earlier. a wondering that was more like the wondering of some other spirit within his. The worst of the strife was over.

Lose no time!’ The door was quickly opened and closed. he 621 of 670 . Sydney Carton. the prisoner misdoubted him to be an apparition of his own imagining. The hour had measured like most other hours. The key was put in the lock. and a cautionary finger on his lip. and turned. to strengthen others. after that time. Devoutly thankful to Heaven for his recovered self-possession. he heard One struck away from him. intent upon him. ‘There is but another now. Before the door was opened. Go you in alone. He stopped. without surprise. with the light of a smile on his features. There was something so bright and remarkable in his look. quiet. and there stood before him face to face. I have kept out of his way. Footsteps in the stone passage outside the door. But. a very different man from the prisoner. or as it opened. I wait near.A Tale of Two Cities interval that he might be able. in English: ‘He has never seen me here. he thought. for the first moment.’ and turned to walk again. a man said in a low voice. Walking regularly to and fro with his arms folded on his breast. that. who had walked to and fro at La Force.

I have no time to tell you. and in virtue of it I stand before you. addressed to you in the most pathetic tones of the voice so dear to you. with 622 of 670 . ‘I could not believe it to be you. he took the prisoner’s hand. pressing.’ ‘What is it?’ ‘A most earnest. and draw on these of mine. Carton. and it was his real grasp. You must comply with it—take off those boots you wear. had already. and it was his voice. ‘I bring you a request from her.’ The prisoner turned his face partly aside. I can scarcely believe it now. dear Darnay. ‘Of all the people upon earth. You are not’—the apprehension came suddenly into his mind—‘a prisoner?’ ‘No. I am accidentally possessed of a power over one of the keepers here. you least expected to see me?’ he said.’ There was a chair against the wall of the cell.’ The prisoner wrung his hand. and emphatic entreaty. that you well remember. behind the prisoner. ‘You have no time to ask me why I bring it. or what it means.A Tale of Two Cities spoke. I come from her— your wife. pressing forward.

that appeared quite supernatural. The prisoner was like a young child in his hands. ‘Draw on these boots of mine. While you do it. tell me it is madness and remain here. and shake out your hair like this of mine!’ With wonderful quickness.’ ‘It would be madness if I asked you to escape. he forced all these changes upon him. put your will to them. that coat for this of mine. and with a strength both of will and action. to pass the door? When I ask that. barefoot. It is madness. let me take this ribbon from your hair. there is no escaping from this place. it has been attempted. Is your hand steady enough to write?’ ‘It was when you came in. it never can be done. Put your hands to them. There are pen and ink and paper on this table.’ ‘Do I ask you. Quick!’ ‘Carton. I implore you not to add your death to the bitterness of mine.’ 623 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities the speed of lightning. got him down into it. It cannot be accomplished. Change that cravat for this of mine. and has always failed. refuse. it never can be done. and stood over him. my dear Darnay. ‘Carton! Dear Carton! It is madness. but do I? When I ask you to pass out at that door. You will only die with me.

’ ‘What is it in your hand?’ 624 of 670 . Darnay sat down at the table. with his right hand in his breast. It is not in your nature to forget them. ‘‘If you remember.’ Carton still had his hand in his breast.’ ‘To whom do I address it?’ ‘To no one. friend. stood close beside him. Carton. looked down. ‘Do I date it?’ ‘No. ‘‘the words that passed between us. Quick. Carton.’ The prisoner looked up.’’ said Carton. the prisoner chancing to look up in his hurried wonder as he wrote. dictating. You do remember them. and write what I shall dictate. you will readily comprehend this when you see it. ‘Have you written ‘forget them’?’ Carton asked. standing over him with his hand in his breast.’’ He was drawing his hand from his breast. I am not armed. long ago. closing upon something.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Steady it again. quick!’ Pressing his hand to his bewildered head. at each question. the hand stopped. ‘I have. I know. ‘Write exactly as I speak. Is that a weapon in your hand?’ ‘No.

’ He dictated again. his hand slowly and softly moved down close to the writer’s face. ‘What vapour is that?’ he asked.’’ the hand was at the prisoner’s face. or his faculties disordered. there are but a few words more. Hurry. hurry!’ The prisoner bent over the paper. ‘‘I never should have used the longer opportunity. once more. Write on. the prisoner made an effort to rally his attention. If it had been otherwise. Take up the pen and finish. Carton—his hand again in his breast—looked steadily at him. The pen dropped from Darnay’s fingers on the table. ‘Hurry.’’ As he said these words with his eyes fixed on the writer. ‘‘If it had been otherwise.’’ Carton’s hand was again watchfully and softly stealing down. ‘‘I should but have had so 625 of 670 . when I can prove them. As he looked at Carton with clouded eyes and with an altered manner of breathing. That I do so is no subject for regret or grief. ‘Vapour?’ ‘Something that crossed me?’ ‘I am conscious of nothing.A Tale of Two Cities ‘You shall know directly. and he looked about him vacantly. hurry!’ As if his memory were impaired. ‘‘I am thankful that the time has come. there can be nothing here.

and Carton’s left arm caught him round the waist.’ the Spy answered. If it had been otherwise—’’ Carton looked at the pen and saw it was trailing off into unintelligible signs. but. ‘my hazard is not THAT. The prisoner sprang up with a reproachful look. with a timid snap of his fingers. Then. Carton dressed himself in the clothes the prisoner had laid aside. Carton. Carton’s hand moved back to his breast no more. if you are true to the whole of your bargain. but with hands as true to the purpose as his heart was. looking up. as he kneeled on one knee beside the insensible figure. Quickly. he softly called.’ 626 of 670 . ‘You see?’ said Carton. putting the paper in the breast: ‘is your hazard very great?’ ‘Mr.A Tale of Two Cities much the more to answer for. For a few seconds he faintly struggled with the man who had come to lay down his life for him. in the thick of business here. combed back his hair. I will be true to the death. but Carton’s hand was close and firm at his nostrils. within a minute or so.’ ‘Don’t fear me. ‘Enter there! Come in!’ and the Spy presented himself. he was stretched insensible on the ground. and tied it with the ribbon the prisoner had worn.

get assistance and take me to the coach. I shall have no fear.A Tale of Two Cities ‘You must be. The parting interview has overpowered me. Lorry.’ ‘You?’ said the Spy nervously.’ ‘I was weak and faint when you brought me in. show him yourself to Mr. stamping his foot. Mr. and too often. man!’ returned Carton. and to 627 of 670 . ‘Man. please God! Now. with whom I have exchanged. ‘have I sworn by no solemn vow already. Carton. if the tale of fifty-two is to be right. You go out at the gate by which you brought me in?’ ‘Of course. that you waste the precious moments now? Take him yourself to the courtyard you know of. to go through with this. ‘Him. tell him yourself to give him no restorative but air. Being made right by you in that dress. place him yourself in the carriage. Such a thing has happened here. Quick! Call assistance!’ ‘You swear not to betray me?’ said the trembling Spy. as he paused for a last moment.’ ‘Have no fear! I shall soon be out of the way of harming you. man. often. and the rest will soon be far from here. and I am fainter now you take me out. Your life is in your own hands.

‘Lift him.’ said Barsad. ‘I know it well. The Spy returned immediately. and his promise of last night. then?’ said one of them. Keys turned. Breathing more freely in a little while. ‘The time is short. with two men. ‘How. contemplating the fallen figure. and leave me. doors clashed.’ They raised the unconscious figure.’ answered Carton.A Tale of Two Cities remember my words of last night. resting his forehead on his hands. and come away!’ The door closed. footsteps passed along distant passages: no cry was raised. Evremonde.’ said the Spy. ‘Be careful of my friend. I entreat you. or hurry made. placed it on a litter they had brought to the door. my children. in a warning voice. and drive away!’ The Spy withdrew. and Carton seated himself at the table. that seemed unusual. and Carton was left alone. and bent to carry it away. he listened for any sound that might denote suspicion or alarm. There was none.’ ‘Come. then. Straining his powers of listening to the utmost. ‘So afflicted to find that his friend has drawn a prize in the lottery of Sainte Guillotine?’ ‘A good patriot. he 628 of 670 .’ said the other. ‘could hardly have been more afflicted if the Aristocrat had drawn a blank.

with a slight girlish form. and what with the shadows within. It was a dark winter day. he could but dimly discern the others who were brought there to have their arms bound. a sweet spare face in which there was no vestige of colour. and listened again until the clock struck Two. and came to speak to him. and large widely opened patient eyes. for he divined their meaning. and finally his own. these were few. at a distance. looking fixedly at the ground. while some of the fifty-two were brought in after him. rose from the seat where he had observed her sitting. A gaoler. as having a knowledge of him. Sounds that he was not afraid of. looked in.A Tale of Two Cities sat down at the table. ‘Follow me. The great majority were silent and still. some seated. It thrilled him with a great dread of discovery. Evremonde!’ and he followed into a large dark room. then began to be audible. a young woman. merely saying. but. As he stood by the wall in a dim corner. Several doors were opened in succession. and in restless motion. Some were lamenting. A very few moments after that. to embrace him. but the man went on. with a list in his hand. 629 of 670 . and what with the shadows without. Some were standing. one man stopped in passing.

if the Republic which is to do so much good to us poor.’ He murmured for answer: ‘True. will profit by my death. I was again taken and condemned. Is it likely? Who would think of plotting with a poor little weak creature like me?’ The forlorn smile with which she said it. I hoped it was true?’ ‘It was. and it will give me more courage. I forget what you were accused of?’ ‘Plots. I am not unwilling to die. who was with you in La Force. But. Citizen Evremonde. it warmed and softened to this pitiable girl. ‘I am a poor little seamstress. will you let me hold your hand? I am not afraid. that tears started from his eyes.’ she said.’ ‘If I may ride with you. Though the just Heaven knows that I am innocent of any. Citizen Evremonde. Such a poor weak little creature!’ As the last thing on earth that his heart was to warm and soften to. but I do not know how that can be. Citizen Evremonde. touching him with her cold hand. but I am little and weak. ‘I am not afraid to die.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Citizen Evremonde.’ 630 of 670 . but I have done nothing. ‘I heard you were released. Citizen Evremonde. so touched him.

Which is she?’ This is she. His daughter. on the Barrier with the crowd about it. French. wandering old man pointed out. stranger?’ ‘Hush! Yes. Hush! Yes. when a coach going out of Paris drives up to be examined. ‘Who goes here? Whom have we within? Papers!’ The papers are handed out. Lucie. inarticulately murmuring. He pressed the work-worn. 631 of 670 . in that same hour of the early afternoon. ‘Are you dying for him?’ she whispered.’ ‘O you will let me hold your brave hand. are falling. French. he saw a sudden doubt in them. Physician. ‘And his wife and child. ‘Hah! Many suffer with it. this helpless. to the last. and read. and then astonishment. ‘Alexandre Manette. and touched his lips. Which is he?’ This is he. my poor sister. hunger-worn young fingers.’ The same shadows that are falling on the prison. ‘Apparently the Citizen-Doctor is not in his right mind? The Revolution-fever will have been too much for him?’ Greatly too much for him.A Tale of Two Cities As the patient eyes were lifted to his face.

Now. replying to a group of 632 of 670 . Which is he?’ ‘I am he. being the last. ‘Kiss me. English. English. in this corner of the carriage. It is Jarvis Lorry who has alighted and stands with his hand on the coach door.A Tale of Two Cities ‘Apparently it must be. that! Many are under the displeasure of the Republic. Jarvis Lorry. It is represented that he is not in strong health. her child. ‘Is that all? It is not a great deal. Lucie. something new in thy family. Advocate. and has separated sadly from a friend who is under the displeasure of the Republic.’ It is Jarvis Lorry who has replied to all the previous questions. remember it! Sydney Carton. is it not?’ It is. ‘Hah! Evremonde has an assignation elsewhere. Lucie. ‘Apparently the English advocate is in a swoon?’ It is hoped he will recover in the fresher air. the wife of Evremonde. Necessarily. and must look out at the little window. child of Evremonde. too. He. thou hast kissed a good Republican. Banker. is pointed out. English. Which is he?’ He lies here. This is she?’ She and no other.

’ 633 of 670 . Forward.’ ‘One can depart. So far. citizens. They leisurely walk round the carriage and leisurely mount the box. and see if we are pursued!’ ‘The road is clear. Jarvis Lorry. ‘It would seem like flight. a little child. carried by its mother. the country-people hanging about. my postilions! A good journey!’ ‘I salute you. my dearest. my darling. has its short arm held out for it. There is terror in the carriage. I must not urge them too much. we are not pursued. there is weeping. as he clasps his hands. look back. it would rouse suspicion.—And the first danger passed!’ These are again the words of Jarvis Lorry. countersigned. clinging to the old man. citizen?’ ‘One can depart. and looks upward. ‘Behold your papers. there is the heavy breathing of the insensible traveller. that it may touch the wife of an aristocrat who has gone to the Guillotine.’ ‘Look back. to look at what little luggage it carries on the roof. ‘Are we not going too slowly? Can they not be induced to go faster?’ asks Lucie. press nearer to the coach doors and greedily stare in.A Tale of Two Cities officials.

the soft deep mud is on either side. avenues of leafless trees. and the like. solitary farms. cottages in twos and threes. that in our wild alarm and hurry we are for getting out and running—hiding—doing anything but stopping. Have these men deceived us. in again among ruinous buildings. dye-works. the new postilions follow. bereft of horses. no. tanneries. solitary farms. make wrong additions. we stick in ruts and sloughs there. tanneries. the new horses come into visible existence. sucking and plaiting the lashes of their whips. leisurely. Look back. leisurely. and arrive at 634 of 670 . sometimes. dye-works. look back. one by one. and the like. and with no likelihood upon it of ever moving again. Sometimes. avenues of leafless trees. ruinous buildings. A village. leisurely. the old postilions count their money. our four horses are taken out. open country. Out of the open country. and taken us back by another road? Is not this the same place twice over? Thank Heaven. leisurely. we strike into the skirting mud. Leisurely. the coach stands in the little street. and see if we are pursued! Hush! the posting-house. to avoid the stones that clatter us and shake us. The agony of our impatience is then so great.A Tale of Two Cities Houses in twos and threes pass by us. The hard uneven pavement is under us.

what he 635 of 670 . he thinks they are still together. Whoop!’ The night comes on dark. The Guillotine goes handsomely. almost on their haunches. Lorry. he is beginning to revive. At length the new postilions are in their saddles. We are through the village. All the time. Suddenly. We are pursued? ‘Ho! Within the carriage there. and down the hill. Hi forward. and the horses are pulled up. and to speak intelligibly. up the hill. and the old are left behind. He moves more. and on the low watery grounds.A Tale of Two Cities dissatisfied results. How many to the Guillotine today?’ ‘Fifty-two. ten more heads are worth having. ‘How many did they say?’ ‘I do not understand you. the postilions exchange speech with animated gesticulation.’ ‘I said so! A brave number! My fellow-citizen here would have it forty-two. our overfraught hearts are beating at a rate that would far outstrip the fastest gallop of the fastest horses ever foaled. looking out at window. Speak then!’ ‘What is it?’ asks Mr. I love it. by his name. he asks him.’ ‘—At the last post.

kind Heaven. and see if we are pursued. and the whole wild night is in pursuit of us. we are pursued by nothing else. so far. look out. and the clouds are flying after us. and the moon is plunging after us. but. and help us! Look out.A Tale of Two Cities has in his hand. O pity us. The wind is rushing after us. 636 of 670 .

like an outer satellite who was not to speak until required.’ ‘Peace. and he is so weak as to relent towards this Doctor. little Vengeance. but abided at a little distance.’ said Madame Defarge. ‘But our Defarge. or to offer an opinion until invited.’ said Jacques Three. ‘hear me speak. My husband. Not in the wine-shop did Madame Defarge confer with these ministers. laying her hand with a slight frown on her lieutenant’s lips. and possesses its confidence. is a good Republican and a bold man. ‘is undoubtedly a good Republican? Eh?’ ‘There is no better.’ 637 of 670 . The sawyer himself did not participate in the conference. fellow-citizen. erst a mender of roads. But my husband has his weaknesses. but in the shed of the wood-sawyer. he has deserved well of the Republic. ‘in France.’ the voluble Vengeance protested in her shrill notes.A Tale of Two Cities XIV The Knitting Done In that same juncture of time when the Fifty-Two awaited their fate Madame Defarge held darkly ominous council with The Vengeance and Jacques Three of the Revolutionary Jury.

that I dare not confide to him the details of my projects. with a meditative enjoyment of his words. but also I feel 638 of 670 .’ said madame. coming out of her short abstraction. But. and the wife and child must follow the husband and father.’ said Madame Defarge.’ croaked Jacques Three. ‘I cannot trust my husband in this matter.A Tale of Two Cities ‘It is a great pity. It is a pretty sight!’ ‘In a word. with his cruel fingers at his hungry mouth. the Evremonde people are to be exterminated. Madame Defarge cast down her eyes. and they looked charming when Samson held them up. ‘it is not quite like a good citizen.’ Ogre that he was. Not only do I feel. ‘I care nothing for this Doctor.’ observed Jacques Three. He may wear his head or lose it. since last night. And we seldom have a child there. dubiously shaking his head. I.’ ‘See you. he spoke like an epicure.’ croaked Jacques Three. ‘The child also. ‘has golden hair and blue eyes.’ ‘She has a fine head for it. for any interest I have in him. and reflected a little. it is all one to me. ‘I have seen blue eyes and golden hair there. it is a thing to regret.

A Tale of Two Cities that if I delay. little citizen.’ ‘That must never be. ‘that she made to the prisoners. and then they might escape. ‘Every day. I know what I know.’ croaked Jacques Three. why not!’ cried the sawyer. We ought to have six score a day. in all weathers. therefore.’ He made all manner of gestures while he spoke. sternly. sometimes with the little one. Come hither.’ Madame Defarge went on. there is danger of his giving warning. ‘Transparently!’ 639 of 670 .’ ‘In a word. ‘my husband has not my reason for pursuing this family to annihilation. who held her in the respect. from two to four. little citizen.’ said Madame Defarge. you are ready to bear witness to them this very day?’ ‘Ay.’ The wood-sawyer. I must act for myself. and I have not his reason for regarding this Doctor with any sensibility. ay. ‘Clearly plots.’ said Jacques Three. ‘Touching those signals. sometimes without. of mortal fear. as if in incidental imitation of some few of the great diversity of signals that he had never seen. I have seen with my eyes. We have not half enough as it is. ‘no one must escape. advanced with his hand to his red cap. and himself in the submission. always signalling.

dear citizeness. who hurriedly replied in the affirmative: seizing the occasion to add that he was the most ardent of Republicans.’ said Madame Defarge.’ ‘Now. I cannot spare him! You are engaged at three o’clock.’ argued Madame Defarge. and I must not be silent. Can I spare him?’ ‘He would count as one head. ‘We really have not heads enough. pondering again.’ The Vengeance and Jacques Three vied with each other in their fervent protestations that she was the most admirable and marvellous of witnesses. I think. For. you are going to see the batch of to-day executed. ‘Rely upon the patriotic Jury. this little citizen here. not to be outdone. letting her eyes turn to him with a gloomy smile. in a low voice. ‘No. let me see.—You?’ The question was addressed to the wood-sawyer. and that 640 of 670 . declared her to be a celestial witness. and trust the case wholly to him.’ ‘He was signalling with her when I saw her. ‘He must take his chance. ‘I cannot speak of one without the other. The little citizen. I answer for my fellow-Jurymen. I am not a bad witness. it would be a pity.A Tale of Two Cities ‘There is no doubt of the Jury?’ inquired Madame Defarge. ‘Yet once more! Can I spare this Doctor to my husband? I have no feeling either way.’ said Madame Defarge.’ observed Jacques Three.

if anything prevented him from enjoying the pleasure of smoking his afternoon pipe in the contemplation of the droll national barber. in Saint Antoine.’ said madame. every hour in the day. He was so very demonstrative herein. Madame Defarge beckoned the Juryman and The Vengeance a little nearer to the door.’ 641 of 670 . that he might have been suspected (perhaps was. I will go to her. and we will give information against these people at my Section. retreated among his wood. evaded her glance as a small dog would have done. ‘I. After it is over-say at eight to-night—come you to me. She will be full of sympathy with its enemies. The citizeness looking at him. She will be mourning and grieving. he became embarrassed.A Tale of Two Cities he would be in effect the most desolate of Republicans. awaiting the moment of his death.’ The wood-sawyer said he would be proud and flattered to attend the citizeness. ‘am equally engaged at the same place. and hid his confusion over the handle of his saw. and there expounded her further views to them thus: ‘She will now be at home. She will be in a state of mind to impeach the justice of the Republic. by the dark eyes that looked contemptuously at him out of Madame Defarge’s head) of having his small individual fears for his own personal safety.

and might be relied upon to arrive in good time. 642 of 670 . calling after her. rapturously. to-day.’ said The Vengeance with alacrity. ‘and have it ready for me in my usual seat. and embraced her.’ said Madame Defarge. looking after her as she walked away. ‘Take you my knitting. and round the corner of the prison wall. and kissing her cheek. were highly appreciative of her fine figure. what an adorable woman!’ exclaimed Jacques Three. my soul. Be sure you are there.’ ‘I willingly obey the orders of my Chief. ‘before the tumbrils arrive!’ Madame Defarge slightly waved her hand. and her superb moral endowments. and so went through the mud. placing it in her lieutenant’s hands. The Vengeance and the Juryman.’ ‘And before the tumbrils arrive.A Tale of Two Cities ‘What an admirable woman. ‘You will not be late?’ ‘I shall be there before the commencement. my cherished!’ cried The Vengeance. straight. for she had already turned into the street. Go you there. for there will probably be a greater concourse than usual. ‘Ah.’ said The Vengeance. to imply that she heard. Keep me my usual chair.

that was insufficient punishment. But. it had quite gone out of her. and as such had no right to live. but to strike into others an instinctive recognition of those qualities. if she had 643 of 670 . she saw. It was nothing to her. of that kind of beauty which not only seems to impart to its possessor firmness and animosity. Of a strong and fearless character. there was not one among them more to be dreaded than this ruthless woman. nor. because they were her natural enemies and her prey. that an innocent man was to die for the sins of his forefathers. opportunity had developed her into a tigress. was made hopeless by her having no sense of pity. even for herself. upon whom the time laid a dreadfully disfiguring hand. now taking her way along the streets. that his wife was to be made a widow and his daughter an orphan. but. To appeal to her. in any of the many encounters in which she had been engaged. If she had ever had the virtue in her. the troubled time would have heaved her up. imbued from her childhood with a brooding sense of wrong. of shrewd sense and readiness. under any circumstances. she would not have pitied herself. of great determination. If she had been laid low in the streets. not him. She was absolutely without pity.A Tale of Two Cities There were many women at that time. but them. and an inveterate hatred of a class. It was nothing to her.

had been planned out last night. at that very moment waiting for the completion of its load. Lying hidden at her waist. Carelessly worn.A Tale of Two Cities been ordered to the axe to-morrow. the difficulty of taking Miss Pross in it had much engaged Mr. and with the supple freedom of a woman who had habitually walked in her girlhood. barefoot and bare-legged. Lorry’s attention. Madame Defarge took her way along the streets. on the brown sea-sand. It was not merely desirable to avoid overloading the coach. Such a heart Madame Defarge carried under her rough robe. he had proposed. should be reduced to the utmost. Now. since their escape might depend on the saving of only a few seconds here and there. it was a becoming robe enough. Finally. but it was of the highest importance that the time occupied in examining it and its passengers. after anxious 644 of 670 . in a certain weird way. when the journey of the travelling coach. was a loaded pistol. and her dark hair looked rich under her coarse red cap. was a sharpened dagger. Thus accoutred. and walking with the confident tread of such a character. Lying hidden in her bosom. would she have gone to it with any softer feeling than a fierce desire to change places with the man who sent here there.

She and Jerry had beheld the coach start. should leave it at three o’clock in the lightest. or stand. now drew nearer and nearer to the else-deserted lodging in which they held their consultation. had known who it was that Solomon brought. they would soon overtake the coach. and were now concluding their arrangements to follow the coach. it might awaken suspicion.’ said Miss Pross. Miss Pross hailed it with joy. Seeing in this arrangement the hope of rendering real service in that pressing emergency.wheeled conveyance known to that period. Cruncher. even as Madame Defarge. Unencumbered with luggage.’ 645 of 670 . who were at liberty to leave the city. would order its horses in advance. and greatly facilitate its progress during the precious hours of the night. whose agitation was so great that she could hardly speak. when delay was the most to be dreaded. passing it and preceding it on the road. ‘Now what do you think. and. or live: ‘what do you think of our not starting from this courtyard? Another carriage having already gone from here to-day. taking her way through the streets. Mr. or move. had passed some ten minutes in tortures of suspense. that Miss Pross and Jerry.A Tale of Two Cities consideration.

Likewise wot I’ll stand by you. Are YOU capable of forming any plan. ‘I hope so. Cruncher. ‘record them at once.’ said Miss Pross. whatever it is.’ 646 of 670 .’ returned Miss Pross. ‘is as you’re right. wildly crying. miss. never no more will I do it.’ ‘I am so distracted with fear and hope for our precious creatures. right or wrong. Cruncher?’ ‘Respectin’ a future spear o’ life. never no more!’ ‘I am quite sure. Cruncher. Cruncher. Mr. to take notice o’ two promises and wows wot it is my wishes fur to record in this here crisis?’ ‘Oh. for gracious sake!’ cried Miss Pross. my dear good Mr. and who spoke with an ashy and solemn visage. ‘them poor things well out o’ this. ‘that you never will do it again.’ ‘First. I think not.A Tale of Two Cities ‘My opinion.’ returned Mr. like an excellent man. Cruncher. Would you do me the favour. ‘that I am incapable of forming any plan.’ returned Mr. and get them out of the way. miss.’ said Mr. Respectin’ any present use o’ this here blessed old head o’ mind. miss. still wildly crying. who was all in a tremble. and I beg you not to think it necessary to mention more particularly what it is.

A Tale of Two Cities ‘No.’ proceeded Mr.’ returned Jerry.’ cried the distracted Miss Pross. Cruncher should have it entirely under her own superintendence. ‘as anything wot I have ever said or done should be wisited on my earnest wishes for them poor creeturs now! Forbid it as we shouldn’t all flop (if it 647 of 670 .— O my poor darlings!’ ‘I go so far as to say.’ ‘There. miss.’ proceeded Mr. Second: them poor things well out o’ this. there! I hope she is. additional slowness. Cruncher through yourself—that wot my opinions respectin’ flopping has undergone a change. and never no more will I interfere with Mrs. with additional solemnity. there.’ ‘Forbid it. and that wot I only hope with all my heart as Mrs. ‘it shall not be named to you. Cruncher may be a flopping at the present time. with a most alarming tendency to hold forth as from a pulpit—‘and let my words be took down and took to Mrs. moreover. and additional tendency to hold forth and hold out. my dear man. ‘and I hope she finds it answering her expectations. Cruncher’s flopping. Cruncher.’ said Miss Pross. never no more!’ ‘Whatever housekeeping arrangement that may be. Cruncher. miss. ‘I have no doubt it is best that Mrs. striving to dry her eyes and compose herself.

miss! Wot I say. Cruncher as much as I may be able to remember and understand of what you have so impressively said. pursuing her way along the streets. ‘Where could you wait for me?’ asked Miss Pross. ‘you may rely upon my telling Mrs. and at all events you may be sure that I shall bear witness to your being thoroughly in earnest at this dreadful time. for-BID it!’ This was Mr. Cruncher. pursuing her way along the streets. Alas! Temple Bar was hundreds of miles away. Cruncher thought it might be best. ‘If you were to go before. pray let us think! My esteemed Mr. came nearer and nearer. 648 of 670 . Madame Defarge. and were to wait somewhere for me. Mr. Cruncher’s conclusion after a protracted but vain endeavour to find a better one. ‘If we ever get back to our native land. came nearer and nearer.’ said Miss Pross. And still Madame Defarge. Now. ‘and stop the vehicle and horses from coming here. and Madame Defarge was drawing very near indeed. let us think!’ Still. wouldn’t that be best?’ Mr.A Tale of Two Cities was anyways conwenient) to get ‘em out o’ this here dismal risk! Forbid it.’ said Miss Pross. Cruncher was so bewildered that he could think of no locality but Temple Bar.

’ ‘Heaven knows we don’t.’ ‘I am doubtful. like the best of men. and Miss Pross’s two hands in quite agonised entreaty clasping his. ‘about leaving of you. decided Mr. and make that change. The having originated a precaution which was already in course of execution. to take me in. With an encouraging nod or two. at Three o’Clock. was a great relief to Miss Pross. hesitating and shaking his head.’ said Miss Pross. We don’t know what may happen. There! Bless you. was another 649 of 670 .’ said Mr. Cruncher! Think-not of me. you see. Mr. The necessity of composing her appearance so that it should attract no special notice in the streets. Cruncher. ‘go to the posting.’ said Miss Pross. ‘Then.house straight. Cruncher. and left her by herself to follow as she had proposed. he immediately went out to alter the arrangements.A Tale of Two Cities ‘By the cathedral door. near the great cathedral door between the two towers?’ ‘No. Cruncher. and I am sure it will be better than our going from here. but of the lives that may depend on both of us!’ This exordium. ‘Would it be much out of the way. ‘but have no fear for me. Take me in at the cathedral.’ returned Miss Pross. or as near it as you can.’ answered Mr. miss. I feel certain of it.

and it was twenty minutes past two. Madame Defarge looked coldly at her. In one of those pauses she recoiled and cried out. She had no time to lose.A Tale of Two Cities relief. and she shut them all. She looked at her watch. Miss Pross got a basin of cold water and began laving her eyes. ‘The wife of Evremonde. those feet had come to meet that water. Afraid. Haunted by her feverish apprehensions. She then placed herself before the door of the chamber which Lucie had occupied. of the loneliness of the deserted rooms. The basin fell to the ground broken. and said. There were four in the room. Her first act was to shut them. which were swollen and red. and the water flowed to the feet of Madame Defarge. she could not bear to have her sight obscured for a minute at a time by the dripping water. By strange stern ways. for she saw a figure standing in the room. where is she?’ It flashed upon Miss Pross’s mind that the doors were all standing open. but constantly paused and looked round to see that there was no one watching her. but must get ready at once. in her extreme perturbation. and of half-imagined faces peeping from behind every open door in them. and would suggest the flight. and through much staining blood. 650 of 670 .

hard. She saw a tight.’ 651 of 670 . Miss Pross knew full well that Madame Defarge was the family’s malevolent enemy.’ said Madame Defarge. but still with something of Miss Pross’s own perception that they two were at bay. she too was a determined woman in her different way. and she measured Madame Defarge with her eyes. but. from your appearance. Miss Pross had nothing beautiful about her. as Mr. years had not tamed the wildness. She knew full well that Miss Pross was the family’s devoted friend. ‘Nevertheless. wiry woman before her. I am an Englishwoman. Lorry had seen in the same figure a woman with a strong hand. ‘You might. ‘where they reserve my chair and my knitting for me. or softened the grimness.A Tale of Two Cities Madame Defarge’s dark eyes followed her through this rapid movement.’ Madame Defarge looked at her scornfully. in the years gone by. be the wife of Lucifer. I am come to make my compliments to her in passing.’ said Miss Pross. ‘On my way yonder. I wish to see her. with a slight movement of her hand towards the fatal spot. of her appearance. and rested on her when it was finished. in her breathing. every inch. you shall not get the better of me.

A Tale of Two Cities ‘I know that your intentions are evil. she so far understood them as to perceive that she was set at naught. and intent to deduce from look and manner. ‘Good patriots will know what that means.’ said Miss Pross. frowning. or stand out of the way of the door and let me go to her!’ This. what the unintelligible words meant. ‘Woman imbecile and pig-like!’ said Madame Defarge.’ returned Miss Pross. ‘I take no answer from you. with an angry explanatory wave of her right arm. I’ll hold my own against them. ‘and you may depend upon it.’ said Madame Defarge.’ Each spoke in her own language. 652 of 670 . you wicked foreign woman. but. both were very watchful. Either tell her that I demand to see her.’ Madame Defarge was not likely to follow these idiomatic remarks in detail. they shouldn’t loose a splinter of me. Do you hear?’ ‘If those eyes of yours were bed-winches. Let me see her. neither understood the other’s words. I demand to see her. ‘and I was an English four-poster. Go tell her that I wish to see her. I am your match. ‘It will do her no good to keep herself concealed from me at this moment. No.

’ Neither of them for a single moment released the other’s eyes. with a shake of her head and a flash of her eyes between every rapid sentence. ha!’ she laughed. but I would give all I have.’ Then she raised her voice and called out. and every rapid sentence a whole breath.’ said Miss Pross. or any part of it. Madame Defarge had not moved from the spot where she stood when Miss Pross first became aware of her. I know that the longer I keep you here. I don’t care an English Twopence for myself. to know whether you suspect the truth.’ said Miss Pross. she now advanced one step.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I little thought. her courage was of that emotional nature that it brought the irrepressible tears into her eyes. ‘I am desperate. I’ll not leave a handful of that dark hair upon your head. ‘that I should ever want to understand your nonsensical language. ‘Citizen Doctor! Wife of Evremonde! Child of Evremonde! Any 653 of 670 . who had never struck a blow in her life. ‘I am a Briton. But. This was a courage that Madame Defarge so little comprehended as to mistake for weakness. the greater hope there is for my Ladybird. if you lay a finger on me!’ Thus Miss Pross. except the clothes I wear. Thus Miss Pross. ‘Ha. but. ‘you poor wretch! What are you worth! I address myself to that Doctor.

they are gone. ‘As long as you don’t know whether they are in that room or not. and looked in. you shall not leave here while I can hold you. nothing has stopped me. ‘Those rooms are all in disorder. and know that. there has been hurried packing. who understood the request as perfectly as Madame Defarge understood the answer. if I can prevent your knowing it.’ said Madame Defarge. you are uncertain what to do. perhaps a sudden misgiving apart from either suggestion. there are odds and ends upon the ground. ‘and you shall not know that. and can be pursued and brought back.’ said Madame Defarge to herself. I will tear you to pieces.A Tale of Two Cities person but this miserable fool.’ ‘Never!’ said Miss Pross. There is no one in that room behind you! Let me look. ‘If they are not in that room. perhaps some latent disclosure in the expression of Miss Pross’s face.’ ‘I have been in the streets from the first. Three of the doors she opened swiftly. 654 of 670 . but I will have you from that door. answer the Citizeness Defarge!’ Perhaps the following silence. whispered to Madame Defarge that they were gone. or not know that.’ said Miss Pross to herself.

’ said Miss Pross. I am stronger than you. Miss Pross. and I pray for bodily strength to keep you here. in smothered tones. and held her tight. ‘It is under my arm. while every minute you are here is worth a hundred thousand guineas to my darling. and stood alone—blinded with smoke. on the instinct of the moment. Madame Defarge’s hands ceased to strike. and clung to her with more than the hold of a drowning woman. Soon. with her head down. It was in vain for Madame Defarge to struggle and to strike. Miss Pross. ‘you shall not draw it.A Tale of Two Cities ‘We are alone at the top of a high house in a solitary courtyard. clasped her tight. Miss Pross looked up. but. struck out a flash and a crash. I hold you till one or other of us faints or dies!’ Madame Defarge’s hands were at her bosom. and felt at her encircled waist. Miss Pross. I bless Heaven for it. 655 of 670 . The two hands of Madame Defarge buffeted and tore her face. Madame Defarge made at the door. saw what it was. held her round the waist. and even lifted her from the floor in the struggle that they had. always so much stronger than hate. with the vigorous tenacity of love.’ said Miss Pross. seized her round the waist in both her arms. struck at it. we are not likely to be heard.

it passed out on the air. As the smoke cleared.A Tale of Two Cities All this was in a second. she was naturally so peculiar in appearance as not to show disfigurement like any other woman. In the first fright and horror of her situation. too. but. in time to check herself and go back. 656 of 670 . and ran down the stairs to call for fruitless help. and then got up and hurried away. leaving an awful stillness. and her hair was torn. and her dress (hastily composed with unsteady hands) was clutched and dragged a hundred ways. She needed both advantages. she did go in. out on the staircase. These she put on. Miss Pross passed the body as far from it as she could. and even went near it. for the marks of gripping fingers were deep in her face. she bethought herself of the consequences of what she did. By good fortune. first shutting and locking the door and taking away the key. like the soul of the furious woman whose body lay lifeless on the ground. Happily. to get the bonnet and other things that she must wear. It was dreadful to go in at the door again. or she could hardly have gone along the streets without being stopped. She then sat down on the stairs a few moments to breathe and to cry. By good fortune she had a veil on her bonnet.

presently. she dropped the door key in the river. Cruncher nodded his head. Cruncher to repeat what he said. with his mind much disturbed. ruminating.’ thought Mr. ‘What do you say?’ It was in vain for Mr. what if it were identified.’ Mr. ‘Is there any noise in the streets now?’ asked Miss Pross again. Again Mr. the escort appeared.A Tale of Two Cities In crossing the bridge. ‘Is there any noise in the streets?’ she asked him. and waiting there.’ said Miss Pross. she thought. Cruncher. what if the door were opened and the remains discovered. ‘at all events she’ll see that.’ And she did. and charged with murder! In the midst of these fluttering thoughts. Arriving at the cathedral some few minutes before her escort. took her in. ‘The usual noises. amazed. ‘wot’s come to her?’ 657 of 670 . Cruncher replied. ‘I don’t hear you. what if she were stopped at the gate. what if the key were already taken in a net. Cruncher. Miss Pross could not hear him. sent to prison. ‘I don’t hear it.’ ‘Gone deaf in an hour?’ said Mr. ‘So I’ll nod my head. and took her away. and looked surprised by the question and by her aspect.

more and more disturbed. and that crash was the last thing I should ever hear in this life. there was first a great crash. 658 of 670 . my good man. Cruncher. ‘nothing. ‘Wot can she have been a takin’.’ ‘If she don’t hear the roll of those dreadful carts. glancing over his shoulder.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I feel. and that stillness seems to be fixed and unchangeable. seeing that he spoke to her. O. ‘it’s my opinion that indeed she never will hear anything else in this world.’ said Miss Pross.’ said Miss Pross. never to be broken any more as long as my life lasts. and then a great stillness. to keep her courage up? Hark! There’s the roll of them dreadful carts! You can hear that. Cruncher. miss?’ ‘I can hear.’ said Mr.’ And indeed she never did. ‘as if there had been a flash and a crash.’ ‘Blest if she ain’t in a queer condition!’ said Mr. now very nigh their journey’s end.

the toilettes of flaring Jezebels. thou powerful enchanter. a blade. Sow the same seed of rapacious license and oppression over again. and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind. Change these back again to what they were. are fused in the one realisation. the huts of millions of starving peasants! No. and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. a peppercorn. the churches that are not my father’s house but dens of thieves. the death-carts rumble. Guillotine. Six tumbrils roll along the streets. Time. a leaf. Six tumbrils carry the day’s wine to La Guillotine. Crush humanity out of shape once more.A Tale of Two Cities XV The Footsteps Die Out For Ever Along the Paris streets. which will grow to maturity under conditions more certain than those that have produced this horror. a sprig. and they shall be seen to be the carriages of absolute monarchs. a root. the equipages of feudal nobles. All the devouring and insatiate Monsters imagined since imagination could record itself. under similar hammers. hollow and harsh. the great magician who majestically works 659 of 670 . with its rich variety of soil and climate. And yet there is not in France.

then resume thy former aspect!’ Changeless and hopeless. if thou wear this form through mere passing conjuration. Of the riders in the tumbrils. and the ploughs go steadily onward. and seems to tell who sat here yesterday. 660 of 670 . others. and who there the day before. As the sombre wheels of the six carts go round. So used are the regular inhabitants of the houses to the spectacle. the tumbrils roll along. Here and there. with something of the complacency of a curator or authorised exponent. seated with drooping heads. with a lingering interest in the ways of life and men.A Tale of Two Cities out the appointed order of the Creator. with an impassive stare. and all things on their last roadside. then he points his finger. that in many windows there are no people.’ say the seers to the enchanted. they seem to plough up a long crooked furrow among the populace in the streets. to this cart and to this. Ridges of faces are thrown to this side and to that. ‘then remain so! But. the inmate has visitors to see the sight. never reverses his transformations. in the wise Arabian stories. while the eyes survey the faces in the tumbrils. and in some the occupation of the hands is not so much as suspended. ‘If thou be changed into this shape by the will of God. some observe these things. Some.

is so shattered and made drunk by horror. again. and faces are often turned up to some of them. there are some so heedful of their looks that they cast upon the multitude such glances as they have seen in theatres. frequently point out one man in it with their swords. to converse with a mere girl who sits on the side of the cart. He has no curiosity or care for the scene about him. for. and tries to dance. it is only to a quiet smile. The leading curiosity is. Here and there in the long street of St. The horsemen abreast of that cart.A Tale of Two Cities are sunk in silent despair. Several close their eyes. and always speaks to the girl. he stands at the back of the tumbril with his head bent down. Not one of the whole number appeals by look or gesture. and in pictures. Honore. Only one. to know which is he. that he sings. It would seem to be always the same question. of a crazed aspect. and holds his hand. and think. to the pity of the people. as he shakes his hair a little more loosely about 661 of 670 . There is a guard of sundry horsemen riding abreast of the tumbrils. and he a miserable creature. or try to get their straying thoughts together. cries are raised against him. If they move him at all. it is always followed by a press of people towards the third cart. and they are asked some question.

’ ‘With his hand in the girl’s?’ ‘Yes. ‘Has he sacrificed me?’ when his face clears. and goes his way. ‘Down. ‘And why not. ‘Which is Evremonde?’ says a man behind him. Evremonde! To the Guillotine all aristocrats! Down. At the back there. hush!’ the Spy entreats him. Let him be at peace. He looks into the second: not there. On the steps of a church. Evremonde!’ the face of Evremonde is for a moment turned towards him.A Tale of Two Cities his face. his arms being bound.’ But the man continuing to exclaim. stands the Spy and prison-sheep. as he looks into the third. and looks attentively at him. and end. ‘That. ‘Down. He already asks himself. The ridges 662 of 670 . He looks into the first of them: not there. to come on into the place of execution. Evremonde!’ ‘Hush. Evremonde then sees the Spy. timidly. and the furrow ploughed among the populace is turning round. He cannot easily touch his face.’ The man cries. citizen?’ ‘He is going to pay the forfeit: it will be paid in five minutes more. The clocks are on the stroke of three. awaiting the coming-up of the tumbrils.

’ says a knitting-woman of the sisterhood. ‘No. Vengeance. ‘Therese. busily knitting. On one of the fore-most chairs. seated in chairs. as in a garden of public diversion. ‘Therese!’ she cries. much louder. Vengeance. petulantly. it is questionable whether of their own wills they will go far enough to find her! ‘Bad Fortune!’ cries The Vengeance.’ cries The Vengeance. although the messengers have done dread deeds. stamping her foot in the chair.A Tale of Two Cities thrown to this side and to that. in her shrill tones. Louder yet. looking about for her friend. and yet it will hardly bring her. In front of it.’ ‘Louder. with a little oath or so added.’ the woman recommends. ‘and here are the tumbrils! And Evremonde will be despatched in a wink. are a number of women. stands The Vengeance. now crumble in and close behind the last plough as it passes on. and still she will scarcely hear thee. nor will she miss now. and she not here! See her 663 of 670 . ‘Who has seen her? Therese Defarge!’ ‘She never missed before. for all are following to the Guillotine. and yet. lingering somewhere. Ay! Louder. Send other women up and down to seek her.

but still holds it as he promised. The supposed Evremonde descends. and her empty chair ready for her. the tumbrils begin to discharge their loads. count One. Crash!—A head is held up. and the seamstress is lifted out next after him. never faltering or pausing in their Work. Crash! —And the knitting-women.’ 664 of 670 . that we might have hope and comfort here to-day. The ministers of Sainte Guillotine are robed and ready.A Tale of Two Cities knitting in my hand. He gently places her with her back to the crashing engine that constantly whirrs up and falls. I think you were sent to me by Heaven. the third comes up. ‘But for you. count Two. I should not be so composed.women who scarcely lifted their eyes to look at it a moment ago when it could think and speak. nor should I have been able to raise my thoughts to Him who was put to death. dear stranger. I cry with vexation and disappointment!’ As The Vengeance descends from her elevation to do it. and the knitting. and she looks into his face and thanks him. for I am naturally a poor little thing. faint of heart. He has not relinquished her patient hand in getting out. The second tumbril empties and moves on.

’ ‘They will be rapid.’ says Sydney Carton. heart to heart. an only relative and an orphan. and it troubles me— just a little.’ ‘Tell me what it is.’ ‘Yes. like myself. ‘Keep your eyes upon me. Fear not!’ The two stand in the fast-thinning throng of victims. She is five years younger than I. but they speak as if they were alone. and she knows nothing of my fate—for I cannot write—and if I could. and she lives in a farmer’s house in the south country. to repair home together. voice to voice. dear child. how should I tell her! It is better as it is. Poverty parted us. else so wide apart and differing. will you let me ask you one last question? I am very ignorant. yes: better as it is.’ ‘What I have been thinking as we came along. Eye to eye. and to rest in her bosom. ‘Brave and generous friend. if they are rapid. and what I am still thinking now.’ ‘I mind nothing while I hold your hand. whom I love very dearly. these two children of the Universal Mother. I shall mind nothing when I let it go. and mind no other object. as I look into your kind 665 of 670 .A Tale of Two Cities ‘Or you to me.’ ‘I have a cousin. hand to hand. have come together on the dark highway.

my gentle sister?’ ‘Do you think:’ the uncomplaining eyes in which there is so much endurance. he kisses hers. and no trouble there. they solemnly bless each other.’ ‘You comfort me so much! I am so ignorant. The spare hand does not tremble as he releases it. and they come to be less hungry. ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life. and the lips part a little more and tremble: ‘that it will seem long to me. she may live a long time: she may even live to be old. yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. fill with tears. there is no Time there.’ 666 of 670 . She goes next before him—is gone. saith the Lord: he that believeth in me.A Tale of Two Cities strong face which gives me so much support. while I wait for her in the better land where I trust both you and I will be mercifully sheltered?’ ‘It cannot be. though he were dead. my child. the knitting-women count Twenty-Two.’ ‘What then. nothing worse than a sweet.’ She kisses his lips. and in all ways to suffer less. is this:—If the Republic really does good to the poor. Am I to kiss you now? Is the moment come?’ ‘Yes. bright constancy is in the patient face.

the upturning of many faces. they would have been these: ‘I see Barsad. before it shall cease out of its present use. long ranks of the new oppressors who have risen on the destruction of the old. They said of him. I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth. through long years to come. and. I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss. so that it swells forward in a mass. The Vengeance. Many added that he looked sublime and prophetic. and Cly. and they were prophetic. in their struggles to be truly free. 667 of 670 . TwentyThree. in their triumphs and defeats. Defarge. One of the most remarkable sufferers by the same axe—a woman-had asked at the foot of the same scaffold. all flashes away. like one great heave of water. not long before. to be allowed to write down the thoughts that were inspiring her. gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out. that it was the peacefullest man’s face ever beheld there. the pressing on of many footsteps in the outskirts of the crowd. If he had given any utterance to his. perishing by this retributive instrument. the Juryman.A Tale of Two Cities The murmuring of many voices. the Judge. about the city that night.

‘I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts. fore-most of just judges and honoured men. and at peace. faded away. but otherwise restored. to this place— then fair to look upon. in ten years’ time enriching them with all he has. I see her and her husband. who bears my name. and faithful to all men in his healing office. and passing tranquilly to his reward. lying side by side in their last earthly bed. I see him winning it so well. I see her father. I see the good old man. I see Her with a child upon her bosom. I see her. with a forehead that I know and golden hair. so long their friend. than I was in the souls of both. I see him. an old woman. weeping for me on the anniversary of this day. bringing a boy of my name. generations hence. peaceful. that my name is made illustrious there by the light of his. prosperous and happy. I see the blots I threw upon it. ‘I see that child who lay upon her bosom and who bore my name. aged and bent. their course done.A Tale of Two Cities ‘I see the lives for which I lay down my life. useful. in that England which I shall see no more. a man winning his way up in that path of life which once was mine. and I know that each was not more honoured and held sacred in the other’s soul. and in the hearts of their descendants. with not a trace of this 668 of 670 .

than I have ever done.A Tale of Two Cities day’s disfigurement —and I hear him tell the child my story. with a tender and a faltering voice. it is a far.’ 669 of 670 . far better thing that I do. ‘It is a far. far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.

A Tale of Two Cities 670 of 670 .

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